Sainsbury’s has been attacked by a local councillor for ignoring planning rules and opening its new local Tonbridge store without the proper permission. The Local store opended last Friday on the former site of the Bishops Oak pub in Shipbourne Road, but it does not yet have permission for the crucial plant part of the store, which will keep the fridges, freezers and air conditioning running.
The supermarket has now been labelled “hugely disrespectful” and been issued a stern warning by the borough council. Steve Humphrey, the council’s Director of Planning, said:
Understandably, Sainsbury’s have been keen to open their new store. But the plant is important to the functioning of the store and shouldn’t be installed before we are satisfied it will be acceptable and permission has been granted. If Sainsbury’s do go ahead with the plant installation they will do so at risk, pending the committee’s site inspection and consideration of the application at the next meeting. The position has been made clear to Sainsbury’s.
Is it helpful to have another local store or have Sainsbury’s misunderstood what north Tonbridge needs?