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Re: Waitrose

Posted: Tue 03 Feb 2015 2:33 am
by Steve
The National Planning Policy Framework requires that out-of-town stores should only be approved if there are no sequential sites available. In fact, Waitrose's own view is that town centre stores are the future. The NPPF requires that in-town sites be identified, followed by edge of town sites (such as Watton Road or Marsh Lane). Out-of-town stores should only be permitted if all other sites have been discounted.

The following [rather dry] read may help: ... /19008.htm

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Tue 03 Feb 2015 1:27 pm
by RichardH
Andy B wrote:What was that fee that could be paid to councils by companies for use in the community?
Section 106 money. Any development will have an amount for this calculated, based on the expected resources the development will take up. So for instance in a housing development they will include amounts for money towards school places, road infrastructure, hospitals etc.

I was at the planning meeting when Premier Inns resubmitted and got permission. From what was said, they had taken note of the comments at previous meetings, gone and spoken to the relevant people as well as locals etc, and come back with a scheme that had been adjusted accordingly - and the councillors obviously were much happier with the proposal and so passed it.

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2015 12:01 am
by Steve
Waitrose's out-of-town store at Van Hage was given planning permission at this evening's Development Control Committee meeting.

This is a huge shock as planning officers had recommended refusal.

The surprise decision comes after Van Hage MD and Chairman Chris Roberts sent a letter to all councillors on the committee five days ago.

I would suggest there's a case for a judicial review.

This is the letter: ... h-2015.pdf

This is the Mercury's report ... story.html

Edited to add:

I've now had an opportunity to watch the webcast of the meeting and planning officer Tim Hagyard gave a long and compelling presentation about why refusal was being recommended. However, Cllr Malcolm Alexander (Ware Trinity, although he lives in Windsor) made a significant contribution in speaking in favour of the development and eventually made the formal proposal that permission be granted, although much of what he said had little to do with legitimate planning considerations. Kevin Steptoe, from the council's planning department made reference to the potential for the application to be called-in by the Secretary Of State and I would venture there's a strong argument for this (IMHO) based on the fact the the planning approval flies in the face of the council's own planning polices and the National Planning Policy Framework.

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2015 9:08 am
by naga
Well, I for one, thing that a Waitrose at Van Hage would be a good addition to the area.

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2015 9:57 am
by The Masked Woler
naga wrote:Well, I for one, thing that a Waitrose at Van Hage would be a good addition to the area.
As does everyone I have spoken to about it and the majority who responded to Waitrose.

Why would we want a JR? will the council spend our money fighting something most of their taxpayers seem to want.

Much of the opposition seems to believe that refusing this will force them to stay in Hertford - W have made it clear that isn't going to happen.

(to add)

In the Ware College application the council ignored the advice of planning and refused it - for those against the plans that was right

In this one they ignored the advice and passed it - for those against the plans that was wrong.

In the Premier Inn application planning advised PI to alter their plans and they were then refused by the council - PI changed the plans back and they were passed no problem.

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2015 10:29 am
by JudieT
I'm so pleased that Waitrose will be staying in the area. Knowing that they would not remain in Hertford Town Centre regardless of the redevelopment was not the best news for me. I'm sorry that Hertford Town Centre will be losing such an anchor for the town and I get the argument about the non-car drivers of the town not being able to shop there, but there are two alternatives already in the town and I'm sure a small scaled down version of any of the big chains could easily fit in to the new development. To be fair also, the demise of Hertford Town Centre is more to do with the high rates, appalling parking and under investment by the Council than the loss of one retailer.
I shall be pleased to see the development at VH's which has improved itself considerably over the past 20 years and believe it will enable Waitrose to offer a much better service to it's customers that can't get over to WGC or Bishops Stortford for a larger store.
I don't understand why there are so many objections to this development, unless it's a case of nimbys flexing their muscles. Most of the buildings will not be visible from the road and an improved junction at the entrance with a better road crossing can only be good as it is clearly 'an accident waiting to happen'.
I am looking forward to shopping there in a relaxed environment where I can take my grandchildren to have a bit of a day out too. None of the local 'big' supermarkets can offer that now so well done and hurry up!

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2015 10:37 am
by The Masked Woler
JudieT wrote: clearly 'an accident waiting to happen'
Not really, the current entrance was put it due to the large number of accidents caused by people turning in.

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2015 11:27 am
by wares_george
I'm truly shocked by this decision.

Ignoring, as the councillors that voted in favour of this application have done, that this is being built on green belt, and that their own planning officers recommended refusal on numerous reasons ( ... P%20TH.pdf), this is yet another nail in the coffin of the local town centres (I've read that they believe the Hertford town centre economy will lose out to the tune of £15m a year, and I'd imagine the Ware economy will also be similarly hit). How can your small independent shops continue to survive when their customers are doing their shopping away from the area?

When people complain of too many coffee, hairdresser and charity shops in our high streets, there's a reason for that. They're some of the few business that can actually survive when you have the likes of Waitrose opening out of town supermarkets taking valuable customers away from the area.

What really gripes me most however, and this is not based on whether the application was successful or not, is why Cllr Malcolm Alexander who apparently represents his constituents of Ware Trinity, is allowed and willing to vote on key issues effecting the town and it's people yet lives 50 miles away in Windsor (funnily enough just down the road from the Waitrose head office!)? Questions need to be asked why he feels he should be adding his input and key votes on local issues that simply do not effect him. He should have stood down as a councillor, or at the very least resigned from the various committees he is a member of.

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2015 11:55 am
by The Masked Woler
Sorry, don't agree at all.

The Green Belt land in question is already concreted over and has been for years.

Any loss to Hertford has to be viewed in the light of the fact that Waitrose were going whatever and I don't see why there will be any loss to Ware - any Waitrose customers will already have been going to Hertford (or even WGC)

In my view the reason for the shops you mention surviving is because they are all things you can't do online (you neglect to mention others like the butcher, deli, florists bakers etc who also survive with supermarket competition all around them)

Re: Waitrose

Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2015 12:03 pm
by mb1
Didn't know that about Malcolm Alexander, very interesting. he should obviously have resigned when he left the area and it is appalling that the Tories didn't enforce this. I assume they won't allow hm to stand for re-election - that's a question for them to answer.

On Hertford, Waitrose were leaving anyway and the idea that they could be forced to stay by denying planning permission for the Van Hage's site was always ridicluous.