Friday, January 25, 2008

Stourport Tesco and the District Local Plan.

A scribbled note got passed along to me about the council plans on the old Carpets of Worth site. As you may (or may not) know I've been banging on about the District Local Plan as adopted in 2004 that stated quite clearly

i) provide for a mix of land uses to include B1 business and C3 residential. Other uses including retail (A1 and A3) may be acceptable, subject to the provisions of the Retail Strategy and the policies of the retail section of this Plan;
This note however tells me I'm wrong, that the Local Plan was superseded in November 2006 by the Local Development Framework. Now a copy of that can be found here well actually it can't. You may take a look at the site and think "Well surely it's the Local Development Scheme" nope that just tells you what the scheme is and shows what makes it up without giving any links. One of the DPD's perhaps such as the "Core Strategy Issues and Options Paper"? Heh page 25 "Weaver's Wharf" told you I was right :-P Anyway nope nothing in there. "Core Strategy Initial Sustainability Appraisal Report" - nope. "Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report" - nope. "Initial Topic Papers and Stakeholder Meetings" the STC2 is mentioned as an issue; that's it.

Silly me it'll be under "Publications" and what a nice list we have including the Local Adopted Plan a snip at only £40.50 or free online. The Planning Obligations SPD at 101 pages is still well worth a read although you can ignore the first 20-odd pages. The Planning Obligations SPD- Sustainability Appraisal - Main Document is also worth a look-see just for the chance to see the Wyre Forest District Council Logo in a format other then a blown-up thumbnail.

The Bridge Street Basins Link Development Brief is also there for those interested except some of the pages have been uploaded incorrectly and can't be viewed (page5_SPD, page11_SPD etc).

Okay so how about the Adopted Design Quality SPG? STC2 is mentioned on page 14 in the graphic on the right
Adopted Local District Plan policies relevant to Mixed Uses
"Mixed Uses" For uses in many ways? Ah it gets used on page 93 "promote mix of uses within town centres" Just sounds wrong to me.

Bingo page 103 STC2 "developed in greater detail in within the Development Brief for Severn Road" I now have a search term.

Ta-da oh adopted 2001 that's after the Local Plan in 2004
5.4 Retail (A1)
Section 2.3 (a) provides the strategic context for retail provision in Stourport-on-Severn through a brief analysis of Wyre Forest District Retail and Commercial Leisure study. In line with the recommendations of that study, land is identified in the very north of the brief area as a possible site for a foodstore.
I'll repeat that - "possible", and I'll repeat the point that this is dated 2001 and is therefore superseded by the 2004 document. Okay back to the Framework.

Wyre Forest Retail Update - Main Report has a bombshell on page 4
Proposals: The Carpets of Worth site is earmarked for a foodstore and a Supplementary Planning Document for Bridge Street has been adopted earmarking proposals for a significant mixed use development linking the historic canal basins and the shopping street (Local Plan Policy STC.4).
Woah sorry when was that earmarked? This document is April 2007 so it can't be referring to the Development Brief for Severn Road, it's not made explicit in the Local Plan, and I note they don't refer to it as Local Plan Policy STC.2. So where the hell did that come from?

Interesting titbit number two
Changes to the planning system at national level will see the two-tier system of District Local Plans and County Structure Plans replaced by Local Development Frameworks (LDF's). However, in the meantime the Adopted Local Plan continues to provide the detailed basis for considering development proposals in the District. The policies of the Local Plan are intended to be saved until at least Autumn 2008 when they will be replaced in one of the new Development Plan Documents
So the Local Plan is still being used and that clearly states that the site may be considered for A1 use, I don't consider that to be "earmarked for a foodstore".
There is currently an application for a new supermarket on the former Bond Worth carpet factory site in Stouport. The planning application has gone to appeal so no decision has yet been made
Oh make up your mind is it Carpets of Worth or Bond Worth can't you be consistent in just one document? Oh and that's it for that document, just contradicting itself with no references.

Must all be in the Appendices... nope, just stats and maps.

Okay that's enough here's the deal. The online version of the Adopted District Local Plan mentions that anything that's been superseded by other things will have a grey background. The land usage designation of the CoW site is not greyed. The Wyre Forest Retail Update - Main Report states that the District Local Plan is still extant until "at least" Autumn 2008 . No other document I can find explicitly sets aside any part of the site for A1 development, but only lists it as a "possible" consideration.

So to summarise the Carpets of Worth site is set aside for C3 and B1 development with an option on A1 or A3; as I've been saying since day one.

If anyone can point to a superseding document please do so and if possible explain why this isn't highlighted in the Local Plan as a change and why none of the high muck-a-mucks reading the WFA has corrected me.


kevin ashton said...

Hi FlipC,

I'm a chef and food writer and write for the Sunday Mercury. I also happen to be a resident of Stourport and we may do a story on Tesco trying to build a large supermarket on the old CoW site.
If you can fast track me about the details of the story and are interested in being interviewed please email me at