‘We must have a Costco veto’ – Neighbours to appeal council’s decision to approve Stevenage cash and carry store

Neighbours say their concerns were not taken into account when the Cosco plans were approved.

Neighbours say their concerns were not taken into account when the Cosco plans were approved. - Credit: Archant

How is it right that a major planning application for a new cash and carry store can be considered for just 15 minutes by a council planning committee when it is likely to have a major impact on traffic and pollution?

That’s the question neighbours who live near the Cavendish Road John Lewis depot earmarked for a new Costco store are taking to the local authority ombudsman after they say it has not been satisfactorily answered by Stevenage Borough Council.

Beth Gray, who lives in adjacent Angotts Mead, is leading the campaign, and took the decision after going through a three-stage complaints process with the council.

She said: “Angotts Mead wasn’t mentioned in all the planning paperwork. We were totally ignored.

“We always thought the site was earmarked for a warehouse but Costco is saying it’s going to be 35 per cent retail, which means traffic.”

“They are aiming to fill the car park 1.6 times every hour which means 1,200 car journeys in that time.

“They haven’t done an air quality survey in the area since 2004.

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“The documents we submitted weren’t even looked at in the meeting at all and the response of one of the councillors was – ‘well you do live near an industrial estate’.”

The council’s planning committee voted through the application in February and it has received widespread support on social media.

The council has declined to comment until the ombudsman makes his findings. The store could create 250 new jobs.

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