Villagers face wait for Tesco verdict

This is Surrey Today

Friday, August 06, 2010, 08:00

Quentin Armitage (SAVE Spokesperson), Chris Grayling MP and Gillian Russell (SAVE Spokesperson)

ASHTEAD residents face a nervous wait to learn whether plans to build a Tesco supermarket in their village will be passed on appeal.

The planning inquiry into the two separate plans to build a supermarket in the former Esso site in The Street, Ashtead, finished last Friday.

During the summing-up all three parties – the council, the residents, and Tesco – had their final say to planning inspector Nicholas Hammans.

Mr Hammans told the inquiry that the strength of feeling in Ashtead about the plans had been “amply demonstrated”.

Christopher Katkowski QC, speaking for Tesco, said: “Some perfectly legitimate issues, such as the restricted visibility at the junction, have been raised and examined at length at the inquiry but alongside these many other concerns and objections were founded on exaggeration and misunderstandings.

“In amongst all this it is hard not to lose sight of what the appellant proposes – a modest-sized supermarket in the first scheme and a small supermarket in the second.”

However, those who gave evidence against Tesco during the inquiry are hopeful that the inspector’s decision will swing their way.

Paul Le Versha, chairman of Ashtead Residents’ Association, praised the professionalism of the inspector throughout the eight-day inquiry at Pippbrook…