Comberton Parish Council considered this application at its September meeting and the following was passed unanimously:-
Comberton Parish Council Response to 20/03339/FUL
Having considered this application at their meeting on 16th September, Comberton Parish Council members have recommended this application for OBJECTION for the following reasons:
- There is no unmet need for an additional food retail store in Comberton/Toft. This is a purely speculative application.
- There are two stores in Comberton and Toft which meets the defined planning needs for this size of population (albeit over two villages)
- If permitted BOTH stores would lose their sole store business rates relief.
- There could be a conflict of interest as the Co-Op supplies Comberton Stores, Costcutters shop with Co-op branded goods
- Currently a significant number of pupils, predominately 6th form, who walk to both Comberton Store and Toft Shop, purchase their snacks and walk back to CVC. This nearby shop would reduce the physical activity for pupils which would be unhealthy.
- Both local shops provide locally source meat and vegetables, post office and other services, near to their villages which would be severely impacted by a commercially focussed, generically supplied supermarket.
- Highway Safety – With nearly 1,900 pupils at CV arriving/departing within 60 minutes at the beginning/end of the school day there is a significant risk of accidents and traffic congestion as recognised by the CC highways response.
- Highway Safety – reversing routes for delivery vehicles within the development show encroachment over disabled and child parking spaces.
- Highway Safety – There is a serious concern that the entry/exit to this development is directly opposite the main entrance for the Library and CV public transport with a significant risk.
- The anticipated 3 HGV delivery vehicles and passing trade vehicles per day impact the rural nature of the village
- Highway Safety – The additional traffic severely impacts the narrow route through the village.
- The development is contrary to several aspects of the current SCDC plan (notable HC1) – quality of life, noise, existing rural character, village aspect…
- Not inconsiderable is the imposition of a busy retail plot adjacent to housing in Bennell Farm East and more importantly the adjacent detached non-estate house, and nearby dwellings.
Comberton Parish Council are also concerned on the effect this retail store would have on the Post Office within Comberton. Not only would the existing store lose their sole business rate relief, but it also puts the post office at risk which is a valuable asset to the community.
The application can be seen here in full on the planning portal.