Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thumbs Up for 24-Hour Tesco despite Protests; Controversial Campus Plans Given Go-Ahead by Planners

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thumbs Up for 24-Hour Tesco despite Protests; Controversial Campus Plans Given Go-Ahead by Planners

Article excerpt

Byline: AMY HUNT

A SCHEME which will see a supermarket built on a health campus in Newcastle's West End has been given the green light.

The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust linked up with Newcastle University and retailer Tesco to come up with plans for the site of the General Hospital.

They will create a Campus for Ageing and Vitality to do research into diseases associated with old age, such as diabetes and Alzheimer's.

A Tesco supermarket will also be built, facing on to Westgate Road.

The scheme faced large-scale opposition from local people, who said they did not want a 24-hour shop on their doorstep.

There were 152 letters of objection sent to the council about the scheme, along with several petitions bearing 1,180 signatures. A total of 184 letters of support were also received, along with 679 names from petitions of people pleased with the idea of having a local supermarket.

Previous plans for the site were turned down in February 2009 after officers raised a list of concerns.

But councillors approved a new outline planning application for the site at a meeting of the city council's development control committee.

Members were told officers were happy the partners had addressed the problems thrown up in the previous application.

Their report said a petrol station had been removed from the plans, and traffic and parking issues had been dealt with.

But although the size of the supermarket had only been trimmed from 8,600sqm to 8,360sqm, officers recommended the plans be waved through. It followed the removal of an upper limit for the size of the supermarket by an independent inspector as part of an examination of a regeneration plan for the whole of Benwell and Scotswood.

Councillors were told the shop would be a similar size to the Asda in Gosforth or the Morrisons in West Denton. …

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