CAMPAIGNERS have lost their fight to prevent the building of a Sainsbury’s Local store in Greasby after a Government ruling.
Traders, councillors and householders in the village say their views have been ignored after the supermarket giant was given permission by the planning inspectorate to build on the car park of the Red Cat, which is owned by pub chain Greene King.
All three of Greasby’s Conservative ward councillors have attacked the decision.
Two protest meetings were attended by more than 500 people and hundreds of letters of objection have been written. More than 4000 people signed a petition opposing the scheme. The application was also rejected by Wirral's own planning officers.
But now Greasby residents have learned Bristol-based planning inspectorate, a Government body, has found in favour of Greene King and Sainsbury's, giving the scheme the go-ahead.
Karen Gorbert from nearby Lewis Butchers, said local traders are “fuming”.
She told the Globe: “The planning inspectorate just has not listened to us. Building a Sainsbury’s store could have a serious affect on local trade.”
Ward councillor Mike Hornby said: “There is no direct right of appeal against this decision and therefore the people of Greasby have to accept a development which, in the main, they do not want.
“This is surely wrong and is against the spirit of the new localism and community interest and shows yet again the lottery which seems to revolve around planning rules and regulations.”
His colleague, Cllr Tony Cox, said: “I feel the inspectorate has ridden roughshod over the people of Greasby and I feel extremely let down by the system.
“I would remind residents that the success or failure of any retail outlet depends on individuals shopping there.”
And councillor Wendy Clements said: “We are all extremely disappointed by the outcome of this appeal. Opposition to this plan has drawn many parts of the community in Greasby together.”
John Smith, chairman of the village traders’ association, said: “The big fear is the effect this new development will have on trade in the village. Our concerns have been completely ignored.”
A Greene King spokesman said: “We believe this will help cement the area firmly at the heart of the community, attracting jobs and providing more amenities for the benefit of local people."