Tesco’s sports club deal fails to win support

PUBLISHED: 14:49 16 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:49 16 January 2013

Cheddar FC's plans are 'ambitious' according to parish councillors

Cheddar FC's plans are 'ambitious' according to parish councillors

Cheddar FC

PLANS for a new supermarket and sports facility have been dealt a blow this week after a village parish council opposed them.

Cheddar Football Club wants to build a new clubhouse and seven pitches off Labourham Road but needs to sell its current Draycott Road ground to Tesco to fund a move.

But both projects were heavily criticised by parish councillors in front of more than 80 members of the public at yesterday’s (Tue) planning committee meeting, held at Fairlands Middle School.

Tesco is the second supermarket chain to see its plans rebuffed by the parish council after Sainsbury’s proposal to build at Steart Farm was also opposed last week.

The 24-hour Tesco superstore was unanimously recommended for rejection by the parish council after members heard of several concerns including road safety, ruining the landscape and the flooding potential of the site.

Councillors also raised concerns over the impact Tesco would have on retailers in Axbridge and Wedmore as well as petrol stations in Churchill and Shute Shelve.

The football club’s own plans to consolidate junior and adult football teams were described as ‘ambitious’ by several councillors.

The proposed Cheddar Community Sports Club would have five grass pitches for the teams’ various age groups and two all-weather surfaces to be used in the winter, and by hockey players. The facility would also be floodlit and have 123 parking spaces.

But the increase in traffic it would cause and its location on a flood plain drew similar criticisms as those levelled at Tesco.

Fears were also raised by Councillor Peter Gawthorpe over the noise and light pollution it would create.

Several councillors were also concerned over the complex’s long-term viability without a business plan being put forward.

The parish council recommended refusal for both projects although Sedgemoor District Council will have the final say in the coming weeks.

* For more information and comments read tomorrow’s Mercury

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