Worksop: Decision on Vesuvius development urgently needed, inquiry told

Former Vesuvius Site, Sandy Lane, Worksop.'News of a new site being built here.
Former Vesuvius Site, Sandy Lane, Worksop.'News of a new site being built here.

A decision on the future of a development on the former Vesuvius site needs to be made urgently, a public inquiry has heard.

Developers Commercial Estates Group (CEG) and Bassetlaw Council called on the Secretary of State for Department for Communities and Local Government to give a decision over the development for an Asda store and mixed-use development quickly.

The inquiry at Worksop Town Hall was told that CEG’s £12 million contract with Asda has the condition that all planning permissions must be granted by April.

Alan Jones, partner is commercial property and planning consultants Rapleys, said that Asda was the only possible operator for the superstore.

“The application scheme represents the only credible option for the development site,” he said.

“Asda are the only potential developers for the site. It depends on Asda complying with its 2010 agreement.”

Mr Jones explained that since the contract was agreed Morrisons and Tesco have been granted permission to build in the town, and the retail market value of this sized store had fallen.

He said: “There is no demand for a food store of this size apart from Asda and Waitrose. They (Waitrose) have confirmed they have no requirement for a food store in the town.”

He added: “If there is a failure to agree it this time the development will not go ahead for the foreseeable future.”

Mr Jones said there was no contract in place with Asda for a smaller store, which makes up a second application that has already received planning permission.

The inquiry heard a football stadium for Worksop Town was originally proposed, but Bassetlaw Council now feels a mix of facilities is more appropriate.

Barrister Roger Lancaster, representing the council, said: “Whilst the facility can still provide a home for Worksop Town Football Club such would have to be part of a wider development.”

Around £800,000 of Section 106 money is earmarked for community recreational facilities.

Mr Lancaster told the inquiry that the development falls within a boundary covered by council policy for housing, employment and retail growth. He added that the retail element of the proposal is judged acceptable and will not significantly harm the town centre.

Ava Wood of the Planning Inspectorate will consider the evidence and report to the Secretary of State.