Supermarket refused retrospective changes to help Cambourne High Street thrive

26 August 2016

Morrison’s in Cambourne have been told to reverse changes they made to their shop floor without planning permission.

Council planners have refused the retrospective application as it would see the supermarket over dominate the centre of Cambourne and risk delivering a diverse and vibrant High Street.

The Council had been trying to negotiate with Morrison’s to deliver a weekly farmers market on the market square the supermarket owns next to the store on the High Street. This has been an ambition for Cambourne Parish Council and could have mitigated the increase in floor space being used to sell goods in the supermarket.

The supermarket’s original planning permission limited the range of goods they could sell to allow other shops to be successful around them and the floor area in the shop they could use to sell products from was limited to 2,800 square metres. The latest retrospective planning application seeks permission for the increase in the size of the floor space being used to 3,200 square metres.

The Council will now issue the store with a breach of their planning condition as they made the changes before securing permission. The breach of permission notice will give them a set period to reverse the changes.

The changes saw a larger area introduced at the entrance to the store to sell flowers and a larger fruit and veg area that has increased into the main entrance to the shop.

Cllr Robert Turner, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “We always take the stance that we want to try and support local business. However, in this case we would not be supporting the creation of a diverse and vibrant High Street around the supermarket if we allowed them to increase the area they use to sell goods. When the store was given their original planning permissions restrictions were put in place for a good reason. We should respect that and make sure we give other retailers the best chance to succeed. We take a fair and consistent approach and would always encourage any business or resident to come and talk to us before they carry out any development. Securing planning permission first rather than simply doing what you please and worrying about if it is legal later is always the best option.”