Appeal Hearing Decision

PRESS RELEASE – GOLDEN HARP – FURZE PLATT
Date: 8 December 2013
Case Reference. 2199252
The Planning Inspectorate Appeal Decision (hearing held 17 October 2013)

A ‘Golden’ Victory for Furze Platt Action Group

FPAG members warmly welcomed the latest victory in the battle against Tesco turning the Golden Harp into a convenience store.

Although Tesco had appeals allowed on the shop front, plant equipment, bollards and signage, they were refused permission on four of the original planning applications including the all-important hardstanding. This means that they will not be able to enter/exit the car park from Furze Platt Road. Both the Planning Inspector and the Thames Valley Police considered the Tesco traffic management plan to be too dangerous, vague and ill-conceived.

The FPAG Chairman, Mark Newcombe, commented “This is great news. With only the Courthouse Road entrance/exit we do not believe that they can create a safe environment within the site and around the site with an increased mixture of pedestrians, cars and delivery lorries. The store traffic will be dangerous and in conflict with normal heavy traffic, the schoolchildren and parents with pushchairs walking along the pavement.”

Tony Dixon, spokesman for the FPAG, added “We call upon Tesco to give up this irresponsible scheme and talk to us about how we can jointly develop the site in the interests of the Furze Platt residents by creating a community pub which will have support of the majority of the local people.”

A major player in the battle was Councillor Claire Stretton who commissioned the police traffic report and spoke against Tesco’s plans at the Planning Appeal Hearing. The FPAG would like to thank her, Ward Councillor Hari Sharma, the RBWM Officers present and the members of the Thames Valley Police for their support and valuable professional contributions.

Residents will now recall the words of Simon Petar (Tesco’s Corporate and Legal Manager) who said “Safety is our number one priority. If we are unable to deliver safely we will not open the store.”

The FPAG will be sending their BOYCOTT Tesco Petition (with over 1500 signatures) to the powers that be at Tesco asking them, once again, to withdraw on the grounds of safety. We will appeal to their only concern – the bottom line; without the Furze Platt Road entrance and with the formidable local opposition it is unlikely that they can operate a store profitably on the Golden Harp site.

[end of press release]

Full details of the appeal can be accessed from the Planning Portal.
And here’s a direct link to the appeal-decision document.