Controversial plans for a Tesco supermarket in Birmingham have been thrown out by a planning committee over fears of increased traffic congestion.
More than 2,000 people signed petitions opposing the Tesco plan for the derelict Meteor Ford site in St Mary’s Row Moseley.
The city council planning committee voted by a narrow margin of seven to six against the controversial plan fearing the store did not have enough parking spaces, would leave surrounding roads grid-locked and see small traders leave the village.
It also means an NHS health centre and GPs surgery, linked to the Tesco plan, could also be lost to the area.
The residents were also warned that their celebrations could be short-lived as the developer Exmax, is likely to lodge a costly appeal to the Government planning inspector.
Fiona Adams of the Moseley Society said: “I am absolutely delighted. The committee could see what a dreadful impact this would have.”
Coun Emily Cox (Lib Dem, Moseley and Kings Heath), who joined residents at the meeting, said: “Local people were listened to, this is a victory for democracy and common sense.”
The committee debated the issues for an hour, having already held two discussions in the Council House, a site visit and a public meeting on the plan.
They were told by officers, who had recommended approval, that while some existing shops may lose trade, others will be boosted by the additional visitors.
And that a detailed traffic survey by consultants Bellamy Roberts had shown that the additional traffic could be accommodated with mitigation measures, including new traffic light phasing at the main junctions.
Coun Mike Sharpe (Lab Tyburn) said: “I used to drive the number 50 bus through Moseley and the traffic was bad then. It was absolute chaos. To stick a great supermarket there will cause more problems.”
While Coun Daphne Gaved (Lib Dem South Yardley) added: “There are already two supermarkets there. That’s enough.”
Coun Ian Ward (Lab Shard End) said that while the situation was far from ideal the “eyesore” site needed to be developed and the alternatives could be far worse, such as a larger store with no health centre. “This application has a lot of merit, I think we should go with it.”
Committee chairman Peter Douglas Osborn (Con Weoley) summed up saying: “No one is completely happy with this, but it is the best plan we have.”
Residents will now be bracing themselves for a public inquiry or looking for alternative developers to come forward to regenerate the site. The Moseley Forum will debate alternative ideas at its meeting at the Moseley Exchange on March 3 at 7.15pm.