Inquiry To Decide On Store Scheme

An artist's impression of the proposed Commercial Estates Group store.
An artist's impression of the proposed Commercial Estates Group store.

A PLANNING inquiry will be held next month to decide on controversial plans for a £23m supermarket and hotel off the A6 south of Lancaster.

The two-week inquiry, to be held at Lancaster Town Hall, from Tuesday, November 22, will decide whether Commercial Estates Projects (CEP) should be allowed build a 7,250 sq metre store on fields close to the former Lancaster Garages site.

Its plans include a petrol station, a 50-bed hotel, a family-friendly pub and restaurant and a 500-space car park. CEP said the supermarket proposals had attracted the interest of all the Big Four supermarkets and that the scheme could create 500 jobs.

It lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate after Lancaster City Council rejected its plans in May while at the same time giving Booths permisson for a smaller 2,052 sq metre store on council-owned land next door at Lawson’s Bridge.

And Booths will be among the objectors to the plans at the inquiry, which will be chaired by a government-appointed inspector.

The company had opposed CEP’s original planning application, claiming its store would affect the vitality of Lancaster city centre.

It argued that because low cost food store operators had expressed an interest in its existing shop in Hala Road, Scotforth, there could be three food stores within one mile along the A6 if the CEP scheme was also approved.

See the Lancaster Guardian (20-10-11) for full story.