Decision details

TWC/2021/0806 Land corner of Colliers Way/Rock Road, The Rock, Telford, Shropshire

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


This application was for the erection of food store including the creation of new vehicle access, parking and associated landscaping and land on the corner of Colliers Way/Rock Road, The Rock, Telford, Shropshire.


The application was before Planning Committee as it involved land owned by the Council and required a legal agreement to secure financial contributions.


An update report was tabled at the meeting and informed members of a further objection received which reiterated comments previously made by Knight Frank on behalf of Telford Trustees No1 Ltd and Telford Trustees No 2 Ltd (‘the Trustees’) and included that the development was contrary to local and national planning policy and would have an adverse impact on the Town Centre, out of date evidence was used to assess the impact and inadequacies of the Applicant’s Town Centre Health Checks and the Sequential Test and that the applicant failed to address the cumulative impact of the proposed development.


Mr I Minto, landowner (of a large proportion of the Telford Town Centre) and member of public, spoke against the application raising concerns regarding the development in respect of local and national planning policy to protect the Town Centre on both this application and the proposed application at The Forge Retail Park and inaccuracies of the sequential testing.  He felt that alternative sites of the Blue Willow or Lime Green car parks needed further time for investigations into land ownership and car park usage to take place and it was premature to bring the application to committee.   He felt that this application could set a precedent for out of town use with shops moving away from the Town Centre.


Ms J White, Applicant’s Agent, spoke in favour of the application and informed Members that the principle of development has already been established with planning permission having previously been granted on this site for an alternative use, and there were no objections in respect of access or highways impact.  It gave consumers additional choice within easy walking distance and the lack of need was not a planning policy test.  In respect of sequential tests on other sites, Ms White confirmed that the Trustees did not own the access to the car parks and they were not adopted and these car parks would not be available within a reasonable time period.  There would be a substantial enhancement to the Green Network and the development was easily accessible by pedestrian and cyclists and it would create 40 new jobs. 


The Planning Officer informed Members that this application was a full application for a food store.  Policy EC5 sought to prioritise retail within the town centre and other centres and outside of these areas a sequential test must be undertaken.  Upon submission, a retail and planning statement had been submitted and the applicants considered that were no alternative sequential sites.  The Council sought independent advice from Retail Planning specialists on this statement, and a Town Centre health check was undertaken to update the Councils Retail Study (2014). The proposal was considered by independent specialists to have a limited cumulative impact with trade diversion of -2.5% and overall conclusions were that the impact on centres was not significantly adverse.


Sequentially, the Blue Willow and Lime Green car parks had been discounted as the applicant had demonstrated that they were not available. Whilst independent advice was that there remained some ambiguity over the availability of the car parks, the Council were satisfied that compelling evidence had been submitted by the applicants to demonstrate that the issues of land ownership would not be overcome within a reasonable time period and in addition, Officers had concerned about the loss of the car parks and the negative impact this could have on the viability and viability of the Town Centre. Weighing up the environmental, social and economic benefits of the proposal, the lack of technical objection from statutory consultees, with contributions towards offsite biodiversity, a travel plan and highways improvements, it was felt that on balance planning permission should be granted.


During the debate some Members raised concerns regarding the lack of solar panels and building on the green network, turning points for wagons, highway safety, drop kerb crossings, coal mining, impact on the town centre and the length of the Sunday opening hours.  Other Members felt that this was a very positive application due to the creation of 40 jobs and as not everyone had a car and it enabled people to gain the health benefits of walking to a nearby shop and there were no reasons to refuse.  Additionally, concerns were raised regarding the potential loss of two car parks within the town Centre (particularly during the busy Christmas period).


The Planning Officer confirmed that there was currently no policy in place to secure solar panels.  The loss of the green network was a small section of 30% which had been agreed in a previous permission but there would be greater enhancements with this scheme.  Sunday opening hours were noted but in order for supermarkets to gain flexibility the Planning Officers were  seeing a general trend requesting 10:00-17:00 opening.  The Local Highways Authority did not consider the turning of vehicles in/out of the site to be highway safety concern and it was felt there was space for these manoeuvres within Rock Road, and there were no technical reasons to refuse on this ground.  The Town Centre had undertaken a health check and there was a trade diversion of -2.5% and it was considered that the retail impact was not sufficient to warrant a refusal.  The Coal Authority and the Applicant had undertaken additional investigations and were supportive of the application subject to conditions which may include piled foundations.


Upon being put to the vote it was unanimously:


RESOLVED – that delegated authority be granted to the Development Management Service Delivery Manager to grant Planning Permission (with the authority to finalise any matter including conditions, legal agreement terms, or any later variations) subject to the following:


a)    The applicant/landowners providing a Memorandum of Understanding (subject to indexation from the date of committee with terms to be agreed by the Development Management Service Delivery Manager) relating to:


i) £30,000 towards highways improvement works at the junction

   between Colliers Way and Rock;


ii) £5,000 towards Travel Plan monitoring;


iii) £168,420 towards off-site woodland planting to mitigate  

     biodiversity net loss;


iv) S106/MOU Monitoring Fee of £2,034.20 and


b) The conditions (with authority to finalise conditions and reasons for

approval to be delegated to Development Management Service Delivery Manager) contained in the report and the update report.

Publication date: 15/03/2023

Date of decision: 15/03/2023

Decided at meeting: 15/03/2023 - Planning Committee

Accompanying Documents: