Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

Partick West News 3/5/08

So, the Tesco enquiry has finished taking evidence and we just have to wait for the verdict. It was an interesting experience , speaking to the enquiry and trying to summarise my reasons for objecting, and although this makes for a tediously long blog post (with no pictures !) , here’s my precognition statement in full :

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997

PLANNING APPEALS: BEITH STREET, GLASGOW

REF:   P/PPA/260/488

          P/PPA/260/489

 

 

Councillor Aileen Colleran : Precognition Statement

 

 

As the sole local councillor for Partick (Ward 15) from 1999 to 2007, and subsequently one of four councillors in the new multi-member ward of Partick West that cover the development site in question, I wish to make the following representations in support of rejecting the appeals from Tesco and their agents.

                            

Although the appeal hearing is an opportunity to examine many aspects of the merits or demerits of the applications in question, I believe that it is important to focus on the specific planning reasons that have delayed any determination of the applications, since that is the rationale for the appellants requesting a Public Local Inquiry as they are seeking consent based on non-determination by the planning authority.

 

However, since this now precludes an opportunity for myself and other objectors to put the case for refusal to the democratically elected members on the development applications committee to enable them to reach a decision (of which I am not one and am therefore able to make these representations), I would like to also outline why it is my contention that there are clear planning grounds for a refusal, based on the policies of the local authority and the government.

 

Firstly, the lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), has clearly been detrimental to the process and has delayed any report being prepared for committee. Developments of the scale proposed by the developers, whether on an outline retail consent or a large scale mixed use development are bound to have a major environmental impact in this area and I would argue that the decision of the previous Scottish Executive minister not to require Tesco to submit one has been a key factor in the non-determination of the various applications submitted.

 

Additionally, the submission of multiple applications by the developer has also not been helpful in terms of process, as the differential aspects of each one requires to be considered and objections lodged and considered, further delaying any decision.

 

A significant factor in delaying any determination has to be the designation of an Air Quality Management Area in June 2007 covering the site in question, as this was a material consideration that required to be incorporated into any report to committee.

 

 

Regarding the reasons for a recommendation of refusal – there is no indication in the Glasgow and the Clyde Valley Joint Structure Plan 2000 (approved 2003) that the retail proposals which all exceed the threshold of 2000 sq metres as set out in Schedule 9 of Strategic Policy 9 are appropriate for exemption from policy. Nor is the Partick area identified as requiring additional retail floorspace requirements as outlined in Schedule 6 (c) iii or iv . The consequence of this then requires the development to be assessed under Strategic Policy 10 , and also fails to meet any of the criteria outlined.

 

I would also refer to Strategic Policy 1 in the Structure Plan which states “the renewal of town centres will also depend upon policies which promote the better management of traffic “. The traffic/transport impacts of a major retail/residential development are considerable, even requiring a TRO (traffic regulation order), and a significant factor must be the balance of food to non-food retail in any proposed development. It follows that the greater the proportion of non-food retail, the higher the expectation that the development will generate significant traffic flows in the form of car use by customers and additional delivery vehicles by the retailer.  How this promotes better traffic management in the area is a mystery. This inevitable increase in car journeys and bulk deliveries is also a significant factor in assessing the air quality impact of the development.

 

I would also point out that the non production of a Town Centre Action Plan (TCAP) for Partick (a desired outcome from City Plan 1 which has not materialised) has also further complicated the decision making process. I am quite clear that had the plan been produced and endorsed by council then the decision making process with regard to this planning application would have been easier. Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 8 on Town Centres and Retailing does make it clear that Town Centre Action Plans are desirable to enable coherent and effective decision making in line with local and national policies – and I would suggest that any determination on the appeals should take into account the lack of a TCAP and the effect that any decision would have on the viability of Partick as a town centre if either of these applications are granted without that framework to assess whether the applications for this specific site are a suitable fit in planning terms for Partick as it is today, not how it was in the immediate past as many changes have taken place in this vibrant and thriving area , even within the nine years I’ve had the privilege of representing this community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 6, 2008 - Posted by | Partick, Tesco, Uncategorized

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