Leominster superstores opposition group urges planners to "hold their nerve" ahead of committee in the new year

COUNTY planners have been told to "hold their nerve" against developers hoping to build superstores in Leominster.

Herefordshire Council’s planning committee is expected to decide on proposals for major stores at Southern Avenue and Mill Street in the new year.

But the Friends of Leominster action group – which is opposing both plans – says it is concerned about “undue pressure” from developers.

The group cites the contents of a recent email from Morbaine director Barris Liptrott. His company is behind plans to build a supermarket on Southern Avenue.

In a letter to planning officer Andrew Banks, Mr Liptrott wrote “If our application is refused we will be lodging an appeal and you will of course be aware that each and every reason for refusal would need to be fully defendable if an award of costs is not made against Herefordshire Council.”

Friends of Leominster spokeswoman Joan Thwaites said: “Is it right that planning applicants can make such threats to a local council?

“In these difficult times when the council is facing acute financial problems the letter seems designed to scare councillors into supporting the planning application.

“We are calling on the council to hold its nerve and not cave in to undue pressure. If it abides firmly by national and local planning policy guidelines these two applications will be refused.”

The developers, in response, stated that no threats were intended.

Alex Brodie, managing director of Morbaine, claims the proposal is in line with government policy – which currently shows a preference for development.

“If we are refused we believe we have a very strong case that we will go to appeal,” he said.

“The silent majority are just that. We don’t want to put a store in Leominster for nothing, we know there will be a market.

“It’s a natural fight – we have invested a lot of time and effort for three to four years. A lot goes into it.”

Objectors are being urged to make their views known to members of the county planning committee. Contact details are available from joanthwaites@talktalk.net

Comments (4)

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5:06pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Simon Brown says...

Why do chancers always imagine the silent majority as being on the side of the chancer. It's completely illogical as the chancer can't tell what the silent majority is thinking any more than our wonderful Tory controlled council.
Why do chancers always imagine the silent majority as being on the side of the chancer. It's completely illogical as the chancer can't tell what the silent majority is thinking any more than our wonderful Tory controlled council. Simon Brown

6:38pm Wed 18 Dec 13

TwoWheelsGood says...

Most applications are determined on the basis of 'will we lose this at appeal?'. It doesn't need a letter from the developer to reinforce that, but I suspect they thought a shot across the bows of the (often ill-informed) committee wouldn't harm their case.
Most applications are determined on the basis of 'will we lose this at appeal?'. It doesn't need a letter from the developer to reinforce that, but I suspect they thought a shot across the bows of the (often ill-informed) committee wouldn't harm their case. TwoWheelsGood

4:58am Thu 19 Dec 13

gutterman says...

lets see new growth in Leominster save a lot of lime and traveling to Hereford
we all need to shop and it is nice to think that they have thought of coming to leominster
lets see new growth in Leominster save a lot of lime and traveling to Hereford we all need to shop and it is nice to think that they have thought of coming to leominster gutterman

8:13am Fri 3 Jan 14

Andrew Warmington says...

The threat of using the appeal process to wear local authorities is rarely that crude, but it's always there and has to be considered.

The term 'silent majority; was coined by US president Richard Nixon, possibly the most appalling crook ever to hold high office in the Western world, and that tells you most of what you need to know about the term. Besides which, the fact that large numbers would shop in these places once they are built does NOT necessarily mean that the majority of people in Leominster actively want them built.

Hang in there Leominster. These things can be fought. Ledbury has already shown that it can be done.
The threat of using the appeal process to wear local authorities is rarely that crude, but it's always there and has to be considered. The term 'silent majority; was coined by US president Richard Nixon, possibly the most appalling crook ever to hold high office in the Western world, and that tells you most of what you need to know about the term. Besides which, the fact that large numbers would shop in these places once they are built does NOT necessarily mean that the majority of people in Leominster actively want them built. Hang in there Leominster. These things can be fought. Ledbury has already shown that it can be done. Andrew Warmington

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