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Plans for joint B&Q-Morrisons in Luton rejected

PROPOSALS to build a new supermarket which could have resulted in 300 jobs have been rejected by councillors.

Luton council said plans to sub-divide the B&Q site in Dallow Road and allow Morrisons to move in were ‘not in line’ with its policy.

The authority said it wanted to ‘focus retail development in town centres to protect their long-term viability’.

Both B&Q and Morrisons said they were ‘disappointed’ with the decision.

A council document discussed by councillors during a council meeting on Wednesday stated that officers had recommended the plans be rejected.

If accepted, it would have seen B&Q scale back its operations and Morrisons open a store on the larger east side of the building. Both firms would have shared the car park space. The council had 29 representations in favour of the scheme and six against.

Richard Haynes, Morrison’s development executive, said: “We are disappointed with the decision and will take some time to review our options.”

Andrew McDonnell, B&Q’s divisional director for London and East Anglia, said: “We are fully supportive of Morrisons’ planning application and disappointed by the decision.”

A council spokesman said: “This application was reported to the Development Control Committee with an officer recommendation to refuse planning permission because the application was not in line with the council’s policy which aims to focus retail development in town centres to protect their long-term viability, and in the light of concerns raised by the council’s Highway Engineers about the impact of the proposal on the local highway network.

“In reaching its decision, the committee took into account all material factors including relevant planning policies and the issues raised in the representations received, and subsequently resolved that planning permission should be refused.

Source : Carl Mungazi - Luton On Sunday

18 August 2014

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