AN ANTI-Tesco campaign group in Brixham has welcomed the news that a public inquiry will be held regarding the stopping up of Union Lane.
The Herald Express revealed earlier this month that the public inquiry ordered by the Department for Transport meant that development of the new Tesco store in Brixham would not begin in April as planned.
This followed objections to the proposal to stop up the highway at Union Lane as the existing public right of way between Middle Street and Bank Lane would lie in the middle of the proposed supermarket site.
Brixham Residents Against Tesco Superstores said they are ‘pleased the DfT has listened to the concerns of local residents and businesses and decided to hold a public inquiry’.
BRATS secretary Rosemary Clarke, who is also a town councillor, said: “We understand there were 54 objections. Several objections were submitted by BRATS members, including myself. However the majority were from local residents and local businesses who do not believe the stopping up of Union Lane is in the best interest of Brixham.
“If successful the stopping up will mean the closure of a right of way from Middle Street to Fore Street which has existed for many years.”
She said BRATS had raised awareness of the stopping up order application as ‘the official notice was not the easiest thing to spot’.
“Just because there has been delay after delay with the development it should not mean that the democratic right for people to have their views heard can be put aside,” she said.
“BRATS welcome the fact that an inspector, appointed by the DfT, will take an independent look at the issue.”
A spokesman for developer Albourne said the proposed development would be ‘far more attractive and give priority to pedestrians’ and had received 15 to 20 letters of support.
A Tesco spokesman said the company remained committed to the £20million scheme which would create more than 150 jobs.
A date and venue for the public inquiry has not yet been set, but it is not expected to take place before May.