Relief as Tesco store plans are withdrawn

SUCCESS Cllr Michael Cheshire, left, Caroline Richards, Sally Tomsett and Rodney Pereira at the site in Milton Road, Cowplain.      Picture: Malcolm Wells (111139-8011)
SUCCESS Cllr Michael Cheshire, left, Caroline Richards, Sally Tomsett and Rodney Pereira at the site in Milton Road, Cowplain. Picture: Malcolm Wells (111139-8011)
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RESIDENTS who fought plans for a new convenience store have won their battle.

More than 250 people objected to the Tesco Metro, in Milton Road, Cowplain, fearing it would put the other shops in the parade out of business.

Developers Ganco wanted to turn the former petrol station into a store with 17 flats above.

Residents said they wanted to see the land developed but objected when they realised it would be a shop. Now the developers have withdrawn the application to Havant Borough Council and are planning 25 flats instead.

Campaigner Caroline Richards, said: ‘We’re delighted. There was no need for another convenience store here, Cost Cutter has been part of this community for the past 20 years. We’ve worked together for a long time and they really give back to the community. We, including Councillor Michael Cheshire who helped us so much, fought for 10 long months for this decision so we are all very, very pleased.

‘As long as the housing is done nicely no-one has a problem with that. People always need somewhere to live.’

The parade of shops has undergone a regeneration in the past few years and Paul Tomsett, the owner of Cost Cutter, spent £200,000 improving his shop.

He, along with residents, feared his business would be swallowed up if a larger competitor came along.

The retail part had been pre-let to Tesco Metro, while the original 17 flats have already been pre-sold to Radian Housing Association.

Hugh Bryan, from Ganco, said: ‘We’re going to do a scheme for 25 flats. It was partly to do with the objections and partly to do with the fact the (previous) plans would have been difficult and time consuming.

‘We will put a new application in, in a couple of weeks. Ganco does listen to residents when they raise these sort of objections.’