Michael Gove Puts Off Tesco/Homebase Decision

July deadline now given for ruling on controversial development

A visualisation of the local impact of the scheme created by Mike Spence
A visualisation of the local impact of the scheme created by Mike Spence


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It has been announced by the Department of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that it has not been possible for a decision to be made on the twin Tesco/Homebase development this month.

Originally it had been expected that the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, would be issuing his decision on the public inquiry by mid-May.

However, participants in the inquiry have now received a letter informing them that, ‘Further time is required to consider this case, and unfortunately it will not be possible to reach a decision on this application by 10 May 2023.”

Mr Gove has given notice that he is varying the previously set timetable to make his determination on or before 5 July. The letter adds that the decision will be taken ‘as quickly as possible’.

The public inquiry, which itself was delayed, concluded last October and it heard evidence for and against the massive developments by Berkeley Homes including from the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents’ Association (OWGRA) and the local Green Party.

At the time of the conclusion of the inquiry, Simon Clarke was the Minister responsible for making the decision, but he was succeeded by Mr Gove on 25 October. He had held the role previously and originally called in the plans for further scrutiny.

Privately some campaigners are hopefully that Mr Gove will be more sympathetic to their arguments than Mr Clarke and other ministers who have held the post recently.

The proposal, which was first made over four years ago, is to build 16 tower blocks of up to 17 storeys high commenced over three and a half years ago. Opponents of the plan are hoping that Mr Gove will accept their argument that the high-rise nature of the scheme is inappropriate in an area characterised by two and three storey housing.

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May 4, 2023

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