Decision on Asda superstore in Exploration Drive, Leicester, deferred
A decision on plans to build an Asda superstore that would open round the clock has been postponed following objections.
Members of the city council's planning committee could not make up their minds on the proposed store in Exploration Drive, off Abbey Lane.
It followed opposition including a petition signed by 859 people and 37 objection letters.
Opponents said the store would result in worse traffic congestion and air pollution, noise and light pollution for neighbours and harm established businesses.
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Speaking for residents at the planning committee meeting, Paul Mowbray, of Ariane Place, said the development would put a "substantial strain on Abbey Lane".
He said the road already suffered from "extremely heavy congestion", including traffic from the nearby First Bus depot, schools and the National Space Centre.
He said: "It will have a massive impact on anyone travelling into the city and be an inconvenience to residents and businesses."
Asda has said its store would create 325 jobs and the firm would help pay for Leicester City Council's proposed £5 million innovation and technology building nearby where a further 150 people would work.
Councillors voted to make a site visit before coming to a decision.
Committee chairman Patrick Kitterick, said: "It will be helpful and allow officers time to discuss concerns about the layout, traffic management and opening hours with the developer."
After the meeting, Mr Mowbray said: "I'm disappointed a decision to refuse this application was not made but, hopefully, our objections will eventually be upheld."
No one from Asda was available to comment.
Meanwhile, Sainsbury's welcomed councillors' backing of its plans for a store at the former GE Lighting site, in Rushey Mead, Leicester.
Members also approved Sainsbury's plans to replace its Belgrave Road store with 10 shops and eight business units.
The scheme includes demolishing Belgrave flyover in favour of what the retailer said would be an "attractive new gateway to the Golden Mile".
The proposals would create up to 890 jobs in total.
The Secretary of State will have the final say on whether Sainsbury's can go ahead with the Rushey Mead development.
The retailer is hopeful work can start by the end of the year.
Tim Watkins, portfolio development manager of Sainsbury's, said: "We're delighted with the committee's approval.
"We can now deliver the regeneration and employment opportunities promised."
The timetable for work on demolishing the flyover and Belgrave Road store will be determined by the progress made on the Rushey Mead site.
Councillor Lynn Moore said: "I welcome the prospect of regeneration in Belgrave Road and doing away with the flyover."
Councillor Sundip Meghani said: "These two schemes give consumers greater choice, deliver the demolition of an eyesore that is Belgrave flyover and create hundreds of jobs.
"It's a win-win situation for Leicester."
Members of Rushey Mead Action Group had raised concerns about building the 80,000sq ft store so close to houses and about traffic congestion.
They also questioned the move to make the Belgrave Road site's regeneration dependent on the success of the Rushey Mead application.
Spokesman Bikram Dhesi said: "We do not believe officers and members of the council gave these matters due consideration."
Belgrave Business Association had raised concerns about the impact of the new business units and shops on existing businesses.