Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Public vote move in Sheringham store saga
Thursday, June 03, 2010
New twist in Sheringham supermarket saga
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Sheringham supermarket battle in limbo
Thursday, April 01, 2010
New twist in Sheringham store wars
Friday, March 05, 2010
Norfolk town wins 14-year battle to prevent Tesco being built in town centre
The decision to instead opt for an eco-friendly supermarket has been welcomed by the residents of Sheringham, who have been protesting against the introduction of a Tesco for the past 14 years.
The Greenhouse Country Store, a project devised by Clive Hay-Smith, will be the greenest supermarket ever built - with rainwater harvesting, solar panels and an electric bus service.
Sheringham residents have won their fight to prevent a Tesco supermarket being built in their town
Mr Hay-Smith, a former president of media empire Pearson, said he was thrilled with the North Norfolk District Council's planning committee's decision.
He said: 'Tesco has run up against someone with the time, the money and the inclination - certainly the inclination - to take it on.'
However, Mr Hay-Smith has run into some opposition from locals after announcing last year he was enlisting the help of Tesco rival Waitrose to run the supermarket.
Clive Hay-Smith devised plans for the eco-friendly supermarket
But many are thrilled with the news that their town will host the greenest supermarket ever built.
Sheringham High School student Hope Worsdale told the council the store would encourage further eco-friendly development.
She said: 'It is the way forward with genuine values and beliefs which are needed to get us out of the mess we are in. The mess my generation will have to live with.'
Friends of the Earth's food campaigner Helen Rimmer said yesterday's decision was a positive sign.
She explained: 'Tesco controls a third of the UK’s grocery market and communities up and down the country are fighting back against its takeover of our towns and cities.
'It is now vital that the Government and local authorities bring in new policies to support independent shops and the local economy to give communities a genuine choice about where to shop.'
Tesco have been fighting for the right to build a supermarket in Sheringham since 1996, but were told by councillors it would damage the town's look, increase traffic and cause problems for independent local traders.
Tesco launched a legal challenge to the council's decision in September 2007 but the original decision was backed by planning inspectors.
The supermarket chain then submitted revised plans for a smaller store in the town last August.
Following yesterday's decision, a spokesperson for Tesco said: 'We're surprised. Planning officers made it clear that the Waitrose application would be detrimental to Sheringham town centre and local shops.
'The councillors' decision is at odds with government planning policy to protect the vitality of town centres.'
Tesco snubbed in first round of battle for Norfolk supermarket
A former corporate boss turned farmer was today celebrating victory in the first round of his battle to keep Tesco out of his Norfolk town and bring in the rival Waitrose in its place.
Clive Hay-Smith's Greenhouse Community Project persuaded councillors his plan for a green alternative for Sheringham was a winner despite opposition from local planning officers.
Hay-Smith, once an executive in the Pearson media empire said: "It has restored my faith in democracy … It was very clear officers were not happy with the decision."
The decision by North Norfolk council's development committee will not be confirmed until it has taken legal advice. Officials had told the councillors that the plans would cause the town "material harm".
Waitrose are to build and run the supermarket on a site on the edge of Sheringham having joined the scheme in December. Hay-Smith is to fund a food academy in nutrition and cooking skills.
A spokesman for Tesco said: "We're surprised. Planning officers made it clear that the Waitrose application would be detrimental to Sheringham town centre and local shops. The councillors' decision is at odds with government planning policy to protect the vitality of town centres."
Tesco thwarted over Norfolk supermarket
Councillors on North Norfolk District Council rejected a plan for a store, even though it had been supported by the authority’s planning officials. Town councillors in Sheringham had opposed the store on Cromer Road on the grounds that it would harm the look and tradition of the town, increase traffic jams and hurt local independent traders.
Instead, North Norfolk District Council approved an edge-of-town community store proposed by local landowner Clive Hay-Smith that will have allotments and a food academy. In a blow to Tesco’s corporate prestige, the environmentally-friendly , the Greenhouse Project will be run in partnership with Waitrose.
Tesco, which has 30 per cent of the UK grocery market, has been fighting for the right to build a store in Sheringham since 1996 and launched a legal challenge to council’s rejection of its plans in 2007. In September 2008, planning inspectors backed the council, saying a 1,500 sq m store would jeapardise the “vitality, viability and retail function” of the historic resort. The supermarket submitted plans for a smaller store last August.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We're surprised by this decision. Planning officers made it clear that the Waitrose application would be detrimental to Sheringham town centre and local shops. The councillors’ decision is at odds with Government planning policy to protect and ensure the vitality of town centres.”
Friends of the Earth's food campaigner Helen Rimmer described the decision as “fantastic news” for the people and businesses of Sheringham.
“Tesco controls a third of the UK’s grocery market and communities up and down the country are fighting back against its takeover of our towns and cities,” she said.
“It is now vital that the Government and local authorities bring in new policies to support independent shops and the local economy to give communities a genuine choice about where to shop.”
Sheringham defeats Tesco with vote for Clive Hay-Smith’s eco-store
Sheringham, in Norfolk, has held out for 14 years against the advances of the all-conquering supermarket. Yesterday, against expectations and the advice of the town’s planning officials, the forces of Tesco were routed.
Instead of a Tesco in the town centre, North Norfolk District Council planning committee voted in favour of an eco-friendly community project dreamt up by a local farmer.
It may seem an unlikely result, but opponents of the supermarket had a secret weapon: the local farmer was not quite all that he appeared. Clive Hay-Smith, 52, was indeed engaged in a spot of agriculture when he became involved in the fight against Tesco. Before running a farm, however, he had been running a branch of Pearson, the media empire.
After serving as president of the group’s assessment and testing division he retired from the City and moved back to Sheringham, his boyhood home, in search of a more peaceful existence. Instead, Mr Hay-Smith was pitched into what some regarded as a struggle for the very identity of the market town, a place with a high street that seemed to hail from an earlier era, full of butchers, bakers, fishmongers and grocers. His solution to the Tesco problem was to fight fire with fire, and so he proposed to build another supermarket on the outskirts of town.
The Greenhouse Country Store would be the greenest supermarket ever built: with solar panels, rainwater harvesting, eco-friendly refrigeration methods, a sedum plant roof and an electric bus service. Food would be sourced locally and, next door, Mr Hay-Smith would build the Norfolk Food Academy to teach nutrition and cooking skills.
If he won, Sheringham could become a rallying cry for groups across the country fighting the incursions of the supermarkets.
“Tesco has run up against someone with the time, the money and the inclination — certainly the inclination — to take it on,” he said.
He needed some help, however. In December he announced that the store would be run by Waitrose, a move that some of his allies seemed to regard as tantamount to a pact with the devil.
Yesterday, in spite of their doubts and the concerns of planners, he prevailed. “It was a very brave decision for Sheringham’s future,” he said afterwards.
Tesco expressed surprise. “Planning officers made it clear that the Waitrose application would be detrimental to Sheringham town centre and local shops,” said a spokesman.
“The council itself has announced that it will be seeking further independent legal advice on the legality of the decision.”
The battle for Sheringham may not be over quite yet.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Let us hope that democracy ends on top and that the legal might of Tesco doesn't once again ride roughshod over the views of local people.
Congratulations must also go to the residents who have protested for so long and haven't given up. Keep up the good work.
Tesco loses Sheringham store wars
But the decision, voted in by a majority of 10 to six, could need to be reconsidered if North Norfolk District Council officers decide it could not be defended in a legal challenge.
The announcement came this afternoon following more than four hours of argument, counter argument and debate at the council officers in Cromer which saw councillors, businessmen, residents, school pupils and a headteacher all have their say.
Clive Hay-Smith's successful plans for the Greenhouse Community Project on Weybourne Road would include a supermarket managed by Waitrose as well as food academy.
After the meeting the delighted businessman congratulated councillors on making "a very brave decision for Sheringham's future" and said, subject to the legal checks, he hoped to have both the store and academy open by autumn 2011.
However Tesco spokesman Nick Gellatly said councillors had “clearly ignored government planning policy and their own officers' recommendations” to reach a decision that was “on shaky grounds” with “reasons to refuse that were cobbled together” and which the company would be studying.
Council officers had recommended councillors should approve the proposed Cromer Road Tesco store and refuse the Greenhouse-Waitrose plans because it was too far out of town.
They argued the Tesco site would encourage shoppers to also visit shops in the town centre while the rival scheme could harm other traders and would be poorly served by public transport - despite the backers' plans to offer a free electric bus service.
But while some councillors agreed, others feared extra retail units which would be built as part of the Tesco scheme for independent traders would soon be used by the supermarket giant to add to its sales space.
Clive Hay-Smith, the man behind the Greenhouse/Waitrose plan.
Councillor Barbara McGoun also insisted the chance to bring something unusual to the area, offered by the Greenhouse scheme, should not be missed. “The Weybourne Road plan is an absolute breath of fresh air,” she said.
In total 14 speakers, plus a representative from the town council, addressed the room during the meeting offering a mixture of views in favour and against both proposals.
During the meeting Sheringham High schoolgirl Hope Worsdale, clutching a plastic globe, spoke passionately in favour of the environment and the Greenhouse scheme which she said would act as a beacon for retailers across the country and encourage further eco-friendly development.
The 15-year-old, who has lived in Sheringham for 12 years, said: “It is the way forward with genuine values and beliefs which are needed to get us out of the mess we are in.”
Following the decision she described the committee's decision as “a move in the right direction” and hoped legal issues would not prevent the Greenhouse Project being built.
But Jono Read, who runs a Facebook group supporting the Tesco plans, insisted fears that the Cromer Road site would mean an end to many of the smaller independent shops were unfounded. “Tesco won't kill the town,” he told the meeting.
He said the plans and the prospect of new jobs created by them would be welcomed by many.
He said: “Weekend, night time and holiday jobs are exactly what people like me are calling out for.”
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Tesco in line to win Sheringham store battle
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
D-Day looms for Sheringham store plans
Location - Cromer Road (on site of community centre and fire station, which would be replaced elsewhere)
Sales space - 1,175 sq m Parking - 143 spaces free for three hours
Jobs created - 150
Waitrose / Greenhouse
Location - Weybourne Road (on former allotment land next to Splash leisure centre)
Sales space - 1,250 sq m
Parking - 135, with power points for mobility scooters. Free electric bus.
Jobs created - 155
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Waitrose eyes new Norfolk superstore
The retailer has thrown its hat into the ring of the town's “store wars” planning battle with rivals Tesco which has split the community in a sometimes bitter war of words and which now looks likely to be decided next month. Waitrose would operate an eco-friendly Greenhouse Project store on the Weybourne Road promoted by local landowner Clive Hay-Smith as an alternative to Tesco's long-running plans on the Cromer Road. The Greenhouse scheme, which would feature electric delivery vehicles and shopper buses, is also linked to a Norfolk Food Academy that would promote cookery and food knowledge next door.
Waitrose's development director Nigel Keen said the company did not want to “get embroiled in spats which have occurred previously. But he said Waitrose had been looking at Sheringham as a possible store venue for “some time,” but felt Tesco had the “dominant position”. When it was approached by Mr Hay-Smith, “some months ago” the scheme matched the company's green and local food sourcing credentials, as well as policies of supporting local farmers and running cooking schools, which it does at its stores in Southend and Cheltenham. “We felt we should support it to give Sheringham people another option. We would like to be close to the town centre but that is not possible. The people of Sheringham will look at both schemes. It is not for us to get into a debate about who is the best operator. If this site doesn't happen we will be disappointed because it is a chance to provide something for the community,” he said, adding that if refused the company would continue to look for sites in Sheringham and other towns.
Waitrose, which is part of the John Lewis group, has 223 stores across the UK, including at Norwich, Wymondham and Swaffham.
The Greenhouse scheme has planning policy hurdles to leap because of its location on the edge of town, while Tesco is hoping its revised plans with improved designs, and moving the store closer to existing shops, will overcome previous objections including potential impact on the existing town centre.
The provisional date for a decision by North Norfolk District Council's planning committee is now March 4.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Sheringham store decision delayed
Friday, December 18, 2009
Stores decision delayed until January
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Sheringham supermarket war latest
Monday, September 07, 2009
New Tesco Planning Application