Despite Birmingham City Council doing extremely little to keep residents informed of developments we have now discovered that the planning committee have referred the application to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. She will decide whether to call in the application for further inspection or let it be approved. She will do this in the next two weeks. We think she needs to call it in and we need your help to persuade her.
You can find a letter below which you can either copy and send or use as a template for your own. Individual letters do have more impact but time is against us. We need to get as many letters to Hazel Blears as possible. Send you letter to Rt.Hon. Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU. You might also like to send a copy to Lynne Jones MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA (email@example.com).Dear Secretary of State,
Application S/0372707/OUT (Renewal of application S/0175202/OUT)
Proposed Tesco superstore on land at Hazelwell/Pershore/Hunts Road, Stirchley, Birmingham
I am writing to object to the proposed development of a Tesco superstore in Stirchley, Birmingham. The council planning committee have overlooked, ignored or openly contradicted a plethora of planning policies in the following ways:
1. Failure to commission a comprehensive retail impact assessment (including centres such as Cotteridge, Kings Heath and Selly Oak)
2. Failure to commission a health impact assessment
3. Failure to commission an environmental impact assessment
4. Failure to commission a social impact assessment
5. Amending the Stirchley Framework in 2002 without due consultation
6. Accepting Tesco expenditure capacity assessment in conflict with BCC Unitary Development Plan
7. Accepting an oversized retail development including provisions for car parking 32% larger than the maximum guidance in conflict with national, regional and local planning guidance
8. Accepting the generation of additional car travel and as a consequence additional carbon emissions in conflict with national, regional and local policy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment
9. Accepting the generation of additional traffic congestion to an already overstressed road network
10. Accepting a retail scheme despite recognising that there wasn’t the expenditure capacity to support that additional retail floorspace alongside existing retail floorspace.
11. Failure to follow national, regional and local planning guidance regarding the delivery of sustainable patterns of development
12. Allowing significant change of centre hierarchies through a single planning application rather than through the development plan process as stated in national planning guidance
13. Failure to consult communities affected by this retail development
14. Failure to consider consequences of approval as regards the extent to which the proposal is likely to remedy any deficiencies
It is true that Stirchley is in decline and needs regeneration. However this decline is largely due to the huge levels of traffic passing down the narrow high street, combined with Tesco ‘land-banking’ large areas of land and blocking any other developments. The proposed supermarket would only exacerbate these problems. In the meantime the pressure put on the surrounding shopping centres would spread the decline up into Cotteridge and beyond. If these businesses close it will mean more travel, more congestion, more CO2 emissions and less choice. This looks even more dubious in light of both the white paper on community control and the sustainable communities plan.
I believe that the people of Stirchley have been very poorly served by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee. Consultation has been appalling with some local retailers not even being made aware that the development has been proposed. I hope you agree that further investigation is required and call in the application for a public enquiry.