Sainsbury’s get their way again

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As many people will know the extended Sainsbury’s in Redding Way reopened on 6 November. Anyone who has been following the debate with regards the planning applications for this extension will know that the Residents’ Association has been assisting residents who live in close proximity to the store to get an improvement in their life style by both the store and Woking Borough Council recognising that there is an issue over noise pollution and that planning conditions on noise are complied with.

At the Planning Committee held on 5 November the last application in connection with the extension was on the agenda for consideration. This application was of a technical nature to meet planning conditions that were part of the original planning decision. The condition was basically a requirement for the developer to provide to WBC, prior to any new plant becoming operable, a detailed noise report and approved by the Local Planning Authority. These conditions were initially dealt with earlier in the year but Sainsbury’s were required to resubmit plans has they had made significant changes to the plans to those agreed to earlier.

To say that notification by Sainsbury’s is very late given that the new store was to become operative from 6 November is an understatement and as those who have followed this stores history will know that Sainsbury’s has a history of breaching planning conditions connected to noise pollution at the store in Redding Way.

Cllr Richard Sharp put forward the argument on behalf of the residents and sought a deferment on a decision until all the data connected with the new plant was available in a format understood by the layperson. The Council brought their environmental consultants to the meeting to answer any technical question. On behalf of the residents the KRA would like to thank Cllr. Sharp for the time he has taken to take on board the complex technical issues and present them to the Planning Committee in a way that was easily understood.

The final stages of this process has been rushed and the consultants acting for WBC admitted that they had yet to receive all the data from the measurement of noise produced from the new plant.

In seeking a deferment Cllr Sharp stated that this would give the developer and the Council’s consultant’s additional time to carry out more monitoring and monitor the equipment once the store was fully operative. Head of Planning argued against a deferment stating that they could not really monitor the condition until the condition had been approved. Cllr Sharp put his motion to the vote and the result was split 5 votes for and 5 votes. Although Cllr Smith, the Planning Committee chairman, had voted against a deferment he had the casting vote and therefore the motion was lost and the conditions were approved.

Outside the debate at the Planning Committee a planning application from Sainsbury’s to include dentistry within the store had been fast tracked by WBC and approved by delegated authority.
We are given to understand that there will be on-going monitoring of the noise generated by the store but at this point in time we do not have any details of how this monitoring will be carried out and over what period of time. We will continue to monitor the situation.

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Andy is a business systems and operations consultant for The Business Delicatessen and has helped the KRA over several years. He is former editor of the magazine and also runs Fat Crow Design.

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