Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Plans submitted for Tesco store in Goring

TESCO has submitted its planning application for a new store at the former Queen’s Arms in Goring.

The retailer wants to convert the pub into an Express convenience outlet with a 2,830 sq ft shop floor and parking for 14 cars. It wants to demolish the old entrance canopy in Reading Road and build a new front door a few feet further east on the same side of the building.

Tesco wants to set aside 12 parking spaces, including one for disabled shoppers, along the site’s eastern boundary with Railway Cottages. These would be sectioned off by a 1m high timber fence and there would be two additional spaces along the side of the building.

The old beer garden would be converted into a service yard surrounded by a 2m timber fence and partly covered by a canopy. This would contain a 99 sq ft refrigerated container and another measuring 49 sq ft for storing frozen produce.

It would install a pedestrian crossing in Gatehampton Road near its junction with Reading Road.

Tesco also plans to remove a concrete barrier separating Reading Road from the smaller part of the forecourt that is privately owned.

Kevin Bulmer, Goring’s county councillor, said: “I am not happy with the plans as they do not seem to address the safety of pedestrians at all. That concrete structure makes a very nice demarcation to keep drivers from wandering across it.

“As far as I can see Tesco has done nothing to address people’s legitimate safety concerns. If anything, the site will be more hazardous as there will be people entering and exiting much more regularly.”

Gill Haigh, 61, who lives in nearby Whitehills Green, is campaigning for the privately owned section of forecourt to be listed as a public footpath.

She says people have been walking across it for decades without being challenged, which would make it eligible.

Tesco commissioned an independent traffic and road safety survey of the site, which it has not published.

Opposition group Stop Tesco in Goring has collected more than 2,000 signatures on a petition.

This week, chairman Rob Jones said: “Now Tesco have finally produced their plans, it shows their much vaunted public consultation was always going to be a sham.

“This is a totally inappropriate site for a store and the plans should be abandoned immediately before someone is killed or injured.”

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