If councillors on the local planning panel follow the recommendation of planning officers, the victor will be Asda, whose plans for a new, bigger store on its current Old Lane site are being given the thumbs-up in a report drafted for a panel meeting on 20th June.
The loser will be Tesco, whose plans for a new supermarket on a neighbouring site are being recommended for refusal.
Why not allow them both?
Council officers believe that if both stores were given the go-ahead, there would be an unacceptable negative impact on the Coop store that anchors the local shopping centre in Beeston.
So, why Asda?
Well, planning officers say that if Tesco were given the go-ahead, the area would end up with nearly 500m² more retail space than if Asda simply replaced it’s existing store with a bigger one.
“The Tesco store would also introduce a new element of top-up shopping that does not exist at the moment and therefore the impact of this store is likely to be greater on the Co-op store than the Asda store, which already has a top-up shopping customer base in the area,” the report says.
“This is important due to the fact that the Co-op store predominantly provides a top-up shopping facility rather than acting as a main food destination,” it adds.
“It is considered therefore that the Asda proposal would have a less significant adverse impact on Beeston centre than the Tesco proposal and consequently the Tesco scheme is recommended for refusal, whilst the Asda is recommended for approval,” it concludes.
The report advises councillors that whilst each of the two schemes should be taken on its merits, “it is important that the cumulative impact is assessed and the reports to Panel should not be viewed in isolation”.
There’s no guarantee, of course, that councillors will accept the planning officers’ recommendations. Last time the two applications came to the panel, councillors rejected the officers’ recommendation that both be given the thumbs-down and asked for more information on the cumulative impact of both going ahead.