Waitrose

News and views on shopping in the town.
The Masked Woler
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Joined: Wed 08 Jan 2014 11:52 am

Re: Waitrose

Post by The Masked Woler »

That isn't really the point though is it.

Most of the shops which we no longer have or are much reduced (shoe, DVDs, CDs, clothes, electricals, sports goods, books, toys etc) are all things you can (and most now do) buy online and the supplier and customer never meet and may not even be in the same country. No need for an expensive High St presence.

Hairdressing does (at least at the moment) require the customer and service provider to be in the same room. Many have specialised equipment which it isn't practical to cart round to the customer's home. Plus a High St salon is an advertising point.

Similarly coffee and "eateries" have to have the point of supply close to their customers (same applies to take aways unless you like it cold - most have a limited distance for delivery). You can't really have a large central warehouse.

Many of the others who survive supply things which people still buy in person (so far) - that may change in the future - or have a non internet using target customer base.

mb1
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon 15 Oct 2007 12:00 am
Location: Ware

Re: Waitrose

Post by mb1 »

That's the future of the High St alright. Services and small speciality shops and restaurants/coffee places. As delivery gets cheaper, easier and quicker no-one can compete from a small shop with the big outfits.

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Steve
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Location: Hertford

Re: Waitrose

Post by Steve »

The Mercury are reporting that this decision is going to be called in by The Secretary Of State, due to the fact that the Development committee do not have the authority to override the council's planning policies (as has happened in this case).

mb1
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Joined: Mon 15 Oct 2007 12:00 am
Location: Ware

Re: Waitrose

Post by mb1 »

Interesting. I wonder who the secretary of state will be by then? And which parties if any Waitrose donate to.

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Steve
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Location: Hertford

Re: Waitrose

Post by Steve »

mb1 wrote:Interesting. I wonder who the secretary of state will be by then? And which parties if any Waitrose donate to.
I don't think either of those questions are relevant.

Firstly, the final decision isn't actually made by The Secretary Of State, it's made by a planning inspector at The Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, usually via a public enquiry. It is an executive process, not a political one.

Secondly, John Lewis's donations policy states: " We do not give money to individuals, religious, ethnic or political groups or third-party fundraising.". This is unsurprising IMHO given their Partnership status.

mb1
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon 15 Oct 2007 12:00 am
Location: Ware

Re: Waitrose

Post by mb1 »

I didn't know Waitrose don't donate, but if you think big donations to political parties by building companies have nothing to do with the way the government reviews planning decisions then I've got a nice bridge to sell you. Donations influence policy and they influence the framework in which all decisions are taken. Not just in planning but across government. Which is not to say that individual government decisions are bought and paid for, but if you want to have a sympathetic ear in government then, as a big company, donating £100,000 to the party and dining with the leader is the best way to do it.

Wareite1969
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Joined: Thu 03 Nov 2011 12:00 am

Re: Waitrose

Post by Wareite1969 »

Steve wrote:The Mercury are reporting that this decision is going to be called in by The Secretary Of State, due to the fact that the Development committee do not have the authority to override the council's planning policies (as has happened in this case).
Have they overridden council policies or is it (seemingly like in a number or recent applications) the planning officers who are out if step with current policy and have not applied if correctly in their decision to approve / reject.

We now have 3 key developments where planning officers advice has not been rubber stamped at council level (College development, Premier Inn and now Waitrose). Who do we want accountable? Elected officials or staff who are in place for the longer term ?

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Steve
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Location: Hertford

Re: Waitrose

Post by Steve »

Wareite1969 wrote:Have they overridden council policies or is it (seemingly like in a number or recent applications) the planning officers who are out if step with current policy and have not applied if correctly in their decision to approve / reject.
It's very clear cut - the decision goes against not only council policy but also nation planning policy guidelines, specifically:

1. Policy GBC1 of the East Herts Local Plan Second Review April 2007 and national planning guidance in section 9 of the National Planning Policy Framework, both regarding development on land designated as green belt.

2. Policies STC1 and STC6 of the East Herts Local Plan Second Review April 2007 and national planning guidance in section 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework, regarding the development of out-of-town stores and the sustainability of town centres.

It's a clear breach of multiple local and national planning policies, which is why it's been called in.

The Masked Woler
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed 08 Jan 2014 11:52 am

Re: Waitrose

Post by The Masked Woler »

Wareite1969 wrote: We now have 3 key developments where planning officers advice has not been rubber stamped at council level (College development, Premier Inn and now Waitrose). Who do we want accountable? Elected officials or staff who are in place for the longer term ?
But of course in the other two the result was the "right" one so no-one raised any issue with their overriding the officers - it's ok when you agree with them.

I find it bizarre that some still seem to think that defeating this application will force Waitrose to stay, if they are to be believed than it will just lose jobs for the area.
The suggestion in the letters that W are leaving at least in part due to the council's allowing all the other supermarket to set up willy nilly was interesting if true given the opposition from HTC.

Wareite1969
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Joined: Thu 03 Nov 2011 12:00 am

Re: Waitrose

Post by Wareite1969 »

The Masked Woler wrote:
Wareite1969 wrote: We now have 3 key developments where planning officers advice has not been rubber stamped at council level (College development, Premier Inn and now Waitrose). Who do we want accountable? Elected officials or staff who are in place for the longer term ?
But of course in the other two the result was the "right" one so no-one raised any issue with their overriding the officers - it's ok when you agree with them.
Unfortunately in one of the above (and maybe Waitrose is heading in a similar direction) someone did complain - the developers. Either way the council stands a substantial bill to defend their position and / or compensate the developers for advice given by their own officers (staff)

The point I was making was not surrounding right or wrong it was how we have councillors having a different opinion from their own officers regarding policy. One of them is wrong as the two opposite positions can't both be right. Do we want elected officials, who are maybe only around for a short time but we have the chance to vote for, in charge or is it better that officers employed are the owners of that policy as planning is a long term decision but we have no say on who they are ?

If the councillors are in fact right, and the officers aren't enforcing policy correctly, should they be treated like staff anywhere else and disciplined ? We seem to be getting more of these and I don't really understand how the opinions can be different when they work for the same organisation trying to enforce and stick to the same policies.

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