Campaigning to curb supermarket power

Barnstaple, Devon

In January 2011 Morrisons was preparing to submit a planning application for a supermarket near Barnstaple town centre and in September consultations were held for a possible new Asda store in Barnstaple.

In October 2012 the results of a report jointly funded by North Devon Council (NDC) and Torridge District Council (TDC), estimates North Devon will only need 3,972sq m of new supermarket space in the next 20 years. The report could have a major bearing on two planning applications for a 2,787sq m Morrisons store on the Evans Transport site and a 6,820sq m Asda store at Anchorwood Bank, both in Barnstaple.

Background on Tesco plans
The owners of Brian Ford's secretly sold their supermarket business to Tesco in October 2003 and then submitted a planning application to the local authority. The true nature of the application was only revealed because newspapers wrote reports about the deal. Brian Ford's had been granted outline planning permission in June 2001 to demolish its existing buildings and build a new store with a road link. The new application deals with the siting and appearance of the proposed new store, with 392 car parking spaces. For further information please see an article in, 12th June 2009.

Councillors were due to consider the application on 13th January 2010 but the decision was deferred because of new government planning guidance released on 29th December.

On 17th March 2010 Councillors on North Devon Council's planning committee voted 14-10 to approve the plans.

In June 2010 a group of local Barnstaple residents staged a protest in the town, collecting 656 signatures to boycott the opening of the store. In November 2010 disagreements about the Tesco application came to the fore during a heated council meeting. A motion was put forward by Councillor Brian Greenslade, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, to ban members of North Devon Council's executive from sitting on the planning committee because of a lack of transparency surrounding the Tesco application, which was passed by the planning committee in March.

United Kingdom
51° 3' 31.176" N, 4° 0' 55.8108" W
Devon GB

Campaign Updates
Barnstaple, Devon

7 July 2016
Barnstaple superstore plans dropped by council

PLANS to create a new supermarket and shops in Barnstaple have been "finally disposed of" after its developers failed to respond to council concern.A planning application for the Evans Transport site on Braunton Road in Barnstaple was submitted in June last year, and sought to demolish the existing building and replace them with four retails stores and a terrace of commercial units.The proposals included plans for a "discount foodstore"..

The application, which was submitted by Evans Transport Ltd & Bass Jarrington Ltd, had received a number of objections, including from Barnstaple Town Council and Environment Agency, with both raising flooding concerns.The team behind Anchorwood Bank also formally objected to the proposals – stating it would have a detrimental impact on Barnstaple Town Centre. Last week the decision was made to "finally dispose of" the application, with an officer for the council stating they had received no response to warnings that the application would be discontinued. They added that the applicants had failed to submit information by agreed deadlines.


17 February 2015
Morrisons withdraw application
10 July 2013
Asda plans approved
10 April 2013
Decision on Asda plans deferred again

Because of Morrison's planning application, which is still to be considered by planning committee.

4 February 2013
Plans for Tesco Express approved

Tesco Express store in the premises which were vacated by electrical retailers Bernard Smith on Barnstaple High Street was submitted to North Devon Council. In February plans to knock through the two shops, install a new shop front and an ATM were approved.

3 December 2012
Planning meeting postponed

A meeting to determine the Asda and Morrisons applications was postponed. The applicants requested that the meeting be put back so they could address matter currently identified as negative impacts. Devon County Council, BID Barnstaple and Barnstaple Town Centre Management all lodged formal objections to the proposals due to concerns about their impact on highways and the viability of Barnstaple town centre.