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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Councillors urged to remove Sainsbury's cafe ban



* Planning officers recommend that the restriction on a cafe being included
 in the supermarket to be built on the Dobson & Crowther site should be removed.

A ban on including a café in the new Sainsbury’s food store earmarked for Llangollen should be lifted, advises Denbighshire’s planning chief.
Graham Boase also suggests that changes to three other conditions imposed on the planning permission for the store, to be built on land currently occupied by the Dobson & Crowther printworks in Berwyn Street, should be approved by county councillors.
When the store was given the go-ahead by the planning committee last September, it was subject to a long list of conditions on what could be included in the building and how it should be allowed to operate.
But agents for the developers recently submitted a fresh application to either remove or vary five of these conditions, which relate to the café, permitted levels of noise and pedestrian access to the site.
White Young Green Planning & Design say the changes are needed to allow the store to operate successfully.

Over 20 objections have been received by the council ahead of the new application being considered by the planning committee tomorrow (Wednesday).
Among those who have declared themselves their opposition are the Town Council and the Civic Society.
There were also letters of objection from a number of individuals, including well-known campaigner Martin Crumpton who sent in a detailed statement of opposition accompanied by an online petition.
The bid to remove the café restriction, which was imposed at the request of local councillors to protect other cafes in the nearby Riverside Park and the town centre, has been the most controversial since it was revealed.

Opponents claim an in-store cafe would damage those already operating in the town.
However, in their submission, Roger Tym & Partners, who have acted as retail consultants on behalf of the county council, say there is “probably no strong basis to condition out a café”.
In recommending that the committee allow the restriction to be removed, council planning chief Graham Boase says in a report: “Whilst officers consider there are a number of relevant arguments in objection to the variation proposed, the absence of support for a refusal from the retail consultant offers little professional backing for a negative recommendation here, and it is ultimately considered unreasonable to insist on precluding a café use which is now a common facility ancillary to the operation of a modern food store.”
In the same report Mr Boase recommends that changes to three other conditions on the new store covering noise emissions and the wording on the provision of an additional footpath into the site are also granted.
The only condition he suggests should be refused as “unacceptable” is the one which relates to arrangements for the investigation and implementation of mitigation where noise exceeds permitted levels.
The supermarket plan is closely related to a separate application to move Dobson & Crowther to a new factory to be built on farmland at nearby Cilmedw.
This was also approved by the planning committee in September but at their meeting this week members will consider a fresh application from the developers to delete or vary two of the conditions imposed on the original permission.
In a report Mr Boase is recommending that both of these, which relate to the factory being allowed to operate and to have deliveries and waste collected on Sundays in addition the rest of the week, should be granted by the committee. 

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