Lancaster City Council’s planning committee approved a new Booths supermarket development application on 3 May, to be built on Lawson's Bridge field in Scotforth. It was considered alongside another bid by CEP for a second much larger superstore, hotel, pub and petrol station which was turned down. The second, failed bid was widely thought to be for a new Tesco store.
Local traders in Lancaster have already complained about severe damage to trade from the new Tesco Metro store that has opened on King Street. Plans to redevelop the Market to incorporate a food retailers have been dealt a fatal blow by the new store, leaving the council pondering over how to recoup the expenses of their appallingly badly negotiated tenancy agreement for the building.
Emily Heath, Green Party Councillor for Scotforth West ward at that time, spoke at the planning meeting objecting to the CEP application. After the meeting she commented:
“I would have much preferred the whole of Lawson’s Bridge to remain as open countryside, but at least the new Booths store has been well designed to minimize its impact on the landscape. However I am concerned that it will lead to further development of the surrounding fields, and I think the Council should have thought more carefully about that before putting its land up for sale.
"I'm delighted that the CEP superstore was refused permission. It would have been far too big and dominating, causing traffic gridlock in Scotforth and undermining the viability of Lancaster City Centre and local shops.”
The Booths application was approved with a long list of conditions, including a condition that the existing Booths store must be retained as a foodstore. It is likely that a discount operator will take over the store once Booths has relocated to Lawson’s Bridge. There will also be changes to the road layout at Hala Road, and a new signalized junction at Lawson’s Bridge.
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