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Sunday, July 5, 2009

If you wish to know the future - look to the past

With all this talk about agreement in principle to extensive use of CPO’s across the existing town centre in Kirkby, even though, throughout the inquiry, this tactic wasn’t discussed as the area in question wasn’t / isn’t part of the initial phasing, KEIOC thought it may be useful to revisit the transcripts of two of Tesco’s expert witnesses; we’ll let you decide what’s going on………


Mr Roger Lancaster then began his cross-examination of Mr. Graeme Tulley of DTZ; he stated that, in relation to the UDP, the scale, role and function of the development was inappropriate and that the council had failed to conduct an assessment of the Development Securities proposal for redevelopment on the site of the current town centre using a plan that was within the existing UDP. Mr Roger Lancaster continued, “why had Tesco spent £65M? Was it in order to sterilise, develop now or develop in the future? As Tesco own the land in the existing town centre, that fits the UDP, why not analyse the benefits of Tesco developing this now?” No answers were forthcoming.


Mr Stephen Sauvain, QC for Liverpool City Council, first examined Mr Black, an expert on the commercial aspects of the proposal. He enquired if Tesco had a Plan B in the event of planning permission not being secured. He managed to establish that there was an opportunity to improve the retail offer of the existing town centre and that the multiple nationals had never been attached to this size town before. Curiously of all the letters of support from retailers confirming interest there were none in support for buildings surrounding the existing town centre, the later phases of the development, only letters of support for the units south of Cherryfield drive. Mr Sauvain continued probing the enabling element of the development, querying if the development without the Stadium would be successful, Mr Black, remembering the script, stated, “it was all or nothing”. Mr Sauvain persisted, “this £52M cross-subsidy that was going towards the stadium, the stadium would be costing the scheme money?” “It's a cost item, yes” replied Mr Black, but couldn't explain the cross subsidy even though he was appearing as an expert witness for the application on the commercial aspects of the proposal. The acerbic Mr Sauvain, clearly bemused, enquired if there was a witness he could call to explain and examine as the word “enabling” had been used fifty times in the planning application! Mr Clarkson, QC for the applicants, sprang to his feet shouting that “they were not running an enabling case”, which must have further confused the Everton officials and members of the public present believing that they were sure that they'd been told that the critical mass was needed to provide the cross-subsidy for the stadium. Mr Clarkson elucidated that no witness would be brought forward which encouraged the droll Mr Sauvain to state that “he was anxious to understand this as the application was littered with references to it” All Mr Black could mumble was “the desire to attract as much retail as possible was to achieve critical mass” Mr Sauvain, now in full flow, continued by quoting directly from the DTZ Report, (2.3) “no stadium, no retail; no large retail no stadium” taunted Mr Sauvain much to the discomfort of the applicants.

As we said, we'll let you decide.

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