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Tesco plan: town is facing 'key decision'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 22, 2012

VITAL DECISION: Looe councillors Armand Toms and Edwina Hannaford have been listening to views about Tesco scheme.

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A LOOE councillor has questioned whether Tesco's proposed site is right for the town as the company announced it would submit its application within the next week.

Armand Toms, who represents East Looe and St Martin, said the proposed Barbican Road site was just one of three which had been looked at.

"There needs to be the work behind that to prove this is the right site in comparison to Polean or the Barratt Homes area," he said, adding that there would also need to be a full consultation when the application was received.

The supermarket giant has already carried out a public consultation at Looe Community Academy, opposite its proposed site, which showed 80 per cent in favour.

"I have promised I will deliver a leaflet to all the residents in my ward asking them for their views," said Mr Toms.

"From this, I will formulate the opinion of the town and submit this to both the town council and Cornwall Council planning committees."

Mr Toms said the application would have a big effect on the town and its residents, but conversations he had during the consultation showed a majority in favour of a supermarket.

"There needs to be a clear look at the effects on the town. This should be in the sequential test that the developer must submit with the application, and it must cover the other likely sites," he said.

"This is a key decision for the town and I ask everyone to be involved in the decision-making process as it is your community and you have the right to express your opinion."

Tesco said the store would create 180 all-year-round jobs and would include a petrol station but no pharmacy or café. There will also be a skatepark.

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, who represents West Looe and Lansallos, said she looked forward to the application finally being determined as it had been the talk of the town for nearly a year.

"I have been listening to local people's views intently and am hearing that a majority are in favour of the scheme," she said.

"People have been telling me that it's difficult to do a big weekly shop in Looe, even if they want to support local businesses."

She said residents asked why they should have to travel to Liskeard, Bodmin or St Austell, but others viewed the road systems as inadequate and were worried that Tesco would ruin the character of Looe.

"The views of the people of Looe are very important in the process yet, as councillors, we have to consider all aspects of the impact of such a development in line with current planning policies," she said.

"Now a planning application is being submitted, solutions to all these other issues, including highways, traffic and proximity to the school, will hopefully become clearer."

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