Proposed Sainsbury’s Superstore -Withdrawal of the application

The agents acting on behalf of St. Modwen have officially notified Planning Inspectorate and the NPCU that the application has been withdrawn.
T&W have loaded the attached letter onto the application number and Gareth Thomas has confirmed that it can now be considered as being in the public domain. This is the body of the letter

I refer to your letter addressed to Gareth Thomas at Telford and Wrekin Council dated 15 June 2012, whereby the Secretary of State called-in for his determination the above planning application.
The implications of the Secretary of State’s decision as outlined in paragraph 3 of your letter was the immediate significant delay to the determination of the application, which was originally submitted to the Local Planning Authority (Telford and Wrekin Council) for determination in October 2011, due to the need to hold a local inquiry.
Had the Secretary of State not used his call-in powers, the application would have been determined locally, and the Local Planning Authority’s resolution on 25 April 2012 to grant planning permission, subject to the Secretary of State’s decision would have stood. This would have been in line with the Secretary of State’s Ministerial Statements and in particular his subsequent September 2012 statement, where he emphasised the Government’s number one priority was to get the economy growing and that conditions must be created that support local economic growth and remove barriers that stop local businesses creating jobs and getting Britain building again.
Having regard to the reasons which the Secretary of State uses his powers to call-in applications, as outlined in the 1999 Caborn Statement and as now amended by the 26 October 2012 Boles Statement, the Applicant, my client, St Modwen Developments Ltd did not agree that the application should have been recovered by the Secretary of State. However, St Modwen had little choice other than to accept that decision and proceeded, in discussion with the Planning Inspectorate, to make the necessary arrangements for the application to be considered via a Public Inquiry.
Following the call-in decision and the statutory notification of the Inquiry, three additional parties (Audley Avenue Business Park; the Coop; and a local campaign group ‘Save Newport Campaign’) determined for themselves, that they wished to take an active role in the Inquiry process and sought and obtained formal Rule 6 Status. The subsequent pre-inquiry meeting took place on 18 April 2012. As you will know the Public Inquiry, took place over a three week period in January and February 2013. Very sadly the Inspector, Mr Trevor Cookson passed away prior to his report being delivered to the Secretary of State.
Due to these circumstances, the Planning Inspectorate advised the whole Inquiry process needed to be undertaken again. A second Planning Inspector Mrs Karen Ridge was subsequently appointed and held the second pre-inquiry meeting which took place on 25 November 2013. Prior to the second pre- inquiry meeting, one of the Rule 6 parties (the Coop) advised on 8 November, due to the costs and associated uncertainties, it needed to withdraw from the Inquiry process.
Unfortunately, the Applicant was then advised on 16 April 2014 that the second Inspector Karen Ridge was on long term sick leave and unable to proceed with the Inquiry. The Applicant was then advised by the Planning Inspectorate to seek new dates for an Inquiry after October 2014.
As you will be aware the second Public Inquiry has now been re-scheduled for a four week period, during January and February 2015 and the third pre-inquiry meeting has very recently been held by the third Planning Inspector, Mr Mel Middleton on 17 September 2014.
Given the decision of the Secretary of State to call-in the application for his own determination and the unforeseen circumstances which have subsequently occurred, the final decision from the Secretary of State on this application is likely to be received in Spring 2015, some three and a half years from the original submission of the planning application to the local authority.
Whilst the Applicant, St Modwen understands these are an unusual set of circumstances, the considerable delays and uncertainties caused by this turn of events has resulted in and will continue to result in very significant and quite unforeseen expenditure. The timetable of these events means the Applicant, St Modwen has therefore, taken the very difficult decision that it will not proceed with the Planning Inquiry. This decision has been made prior to any substantive work on the second Inquiry taking place and at the earliest possible time.
This letter therefore formally withdraws the planning application as referenced above from the Secretary of State’s determination.
I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this letter and withdrawal of the application and notify any other relevant parties, or advise ourselves of any further notifications. As you will see, I have sent copies of this letter, to both the Planning Inspectorate and the Local Planning Authority

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