Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thousands Say No but Tesco Gets Go Ahead; Shop Owners Who Fear Mini-Supermarket Will Ruin Them Are Supported by Families

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thousands Say No but Tesco Gets Go Ahead; Shop Owners Who Fear Mini-Supermarket Will Ruin Them Are Supported by Families

Article excerpt

Byline: KATIE DAVIES;ALASTAIR CRAIG

THE approval for a new Tesco store to open in Gateshead will "ruin" independent businesses, it was claimed today.

Thousands of families have supported a campaign against plans for the new mini-supermarket after shopkeepers feared they would be forced to close down.

Gateshead Council considered the application last night for a Tesco Express store on the site of the former Honeysuckle Arms pub on Coatsworth Road, in Bensham. And the bid from the food giant was approved by councillors, despite 1,204 people signing a petition to voice their objections to the plans for the outlet.

The new Tesco will create 20 jobs, but council bosses also received 1,582 objections about the development.

Despite the fears for other local businesses, and concerns over increased traffic and disruption, the council's planning committee last night sided with advice from officers to back the plans. Business owners on Coatsworth Road have raised concerns about its potential impact on their trade. Many fear they won't be able to keep up with the competition from the store ... which could result in their business calling it a day.

Others have questioned the need for another Tesco just a few minutes away from the major new store being built in Gateshead's town centre.

Gateshead Council received a planning application in January to change signage and alter the property outside. But due to a loophole in legislation, permission to change the pub into a shop was not needed.

Tesco corporate affairs manager Doug Wilson said: "We have listened to previous objections to the proposal from council officers and made changes to the application."

Gateshead Council's director of development Paul Dowling, said: "This case is an example of how planning laws can be very odd. …

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