Save our Sheringham - Say NO to Tesco

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tesco blight for neighbours

Householders in South Manchester have seen around £10,000 wiped off the market value of their homes since a 24-hour supermarket opened on their doorstep and are furious that noise, light pollution and increased traffic caused by a nearby Tesco have sent property prices tumbling.
Mr Hardy, 50, who shares the house with his wife and two teenage daughters said "We’ve had that many problems here since this Tesco was built and to be told that our house has dropped in value added insult to injury. It’s like living in hell here. We get people parking across our driveway when they can’t be bothered to use Tesco’s car park. I was blocked in for an hour once and I had to go in to the shop to find out whose car it was. It’s terrible trying to get to sleep because the lights are on 24-hours-a-day. Customers make noise all through the night."
Liberal Democrat Burnage councillor Iain Donaldson said: "Tesco just haven't co-operated at all. We've been trying to have meetings with them for months but they keep postponing. We want Tesco to realise that they have to be a good neighbour, and that it would be better for them if they try to help the residents."
Mrs Maher, 66, who has lived on the road for 33 years, said "Why should I lose money on my house when Tesco are making millions?"

Hadleigh : Tesco or not Tesco, that is the question

Hadleigh in Suffolk is split over plans to built a Tesco supermarket near the town centre.
Those in favour say "Our objectives are to promote the provision of a Tesco on the Brett Works site, in order to provide residents of Hadleigh and surrounding areas with good and easy access to a wide range of quality products at reasonable prices, and eliminate the need to travel to far away supermarkets for food shopping."
Those against say "The answer is simple. We are very fortunate to live in a unique historic town which is a priceless and irreplaceable part of England's heritage. Sometimes it is easy to overlook the fact that we have a responsibility to future generations for our beautiful surroundings, clean air, minimal noise and the ability to buy food and goods from well-run family businesses, where quality is paramount and service is still personal."

Many other issues are raised, from environmental to population growth, but the arguments are always the same, convenience and cheap food now or a sustainable and attractive environment for the future.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Council throws out Tesco scheme

In what has been hailed "a great day for the town", Darlington Borough Council last night threw out plans to construct a Tesco hypermarket and 130 flats in the town centre. It was also agreed that any future supermarket plans for that area of town would meet with a similar response. Last night, councillors and anti-Tesco campaigners said the town should look to the future and work towards redeveloping the Feethams site for the benefit of the community.
Council leader John Williams said: "We don't want to go through this again, the consultation was very clear and the people have spoken in that regard. "This has also identified the high regard the public has for our markets and the historic town centre. It's my view that even if we received a planning application for a large supermarket on the periphery of the town centre or on the other side of the ring-road, that would not be appropriate."

Tesco 'will ruin small businesses'

Campaigners fear a new superstore will steal local trade, kill off independent shops and leave a town centre abandoned if allowed to go ahead. Supermarket giant Tesco already has enough store space in and around Portsmouth to fill more than 50 football pitches – but it wants more. Now, the chain's bosses hope to knock down the store in Solent Road, Havant, and build one more than double its size, at 100,405 sq ft. But they may have a fight on their hands after scores of residents objected in writing to the proposal. Now Havant Borough Council planners are wading through 51 letters arguing that the plan rings the death knell for small shops and businesses in Havant, Emsworth and Bedhampton. Valerie Bird, of Manor Close, Havant said: 'This will suck the life-blood out of our town. All the small shops are struggling against the pressure of supermarkets and will find it even harder to exist.' Councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray, of Emsworth, and chairman of the Emsworth Business Association, said: 'Smaller businesses have been here for years, and help the cycle of buying, growing and selling locally. Tesco is now too big. Enough is enough.'
Tesco's south coast corporate affairs manager, Felix Gummer said: 'We know people are leaving the town to do their shopping. We want to keep shoppers in Havant and attract more. We believe they will go into town for more variety. We want to improve links between the store and town centre.'

Tesco are starting to sound like a broken record.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Aylsham Tesco finally gets approval

Tesco has finally come out on top in Aylsham after four years of work to appease townsfolk. Many design changes have been made to the new superstore's design after Broadland District Council decided the original off-the-peg design was not in keeping with the character of the historic market town. Outline permission had been granted in 2002, but it was not until yesterday that councillors finally voted unanimously to give the green light for a Tesco superstore in Norwich Road. A raft of conditions accompanies the planning permission. These include dealing with underground fuel storage tanks and pipes and creating new footpaths, before work starts. The final low-profile design incorporates a pantiled canopy supported by brick piers and buttresses at the entrance, green oak timbers for a gable entrance and Flemish bond brickwork panels. Canopy trolley parks have been ditched for open trolley storage areas. It is not known when work will start on the site. Katherine Edwards, spokeswoman for Tesco, said, “We are obviously really delighted at the result and we look forward to being able to being a store to Aylsham. We will let people know when work is due to start as soon as there is more detail.”

Tesco is killing off the high street

Tesco today faced fresh accusations it is killing off the high street after it won permission to sell electrical goods at an out-of-town store - despite council chiefs admitting it could hit city centre trade.The supermarket chain was allowed to build a superstore off the A140 at Harford Bridge in 1995 on the condition that it did not sell electrical goods.But the company asked South Norfolk Council's planning committee if that condition could be varied so it can use 44 sq m of floorspace to sell electrical goods.At a meeting yesterday, councillors unanimously decided to alter the agreement struck more than a decade ago to go to allow the firm to sell electrical goods such as kettles, microwaves, personal computers, toasters and table lamps. A spokesman for Tesco said: "Our customers have asked us to sell more electrical goods. This minor change in planning conditions will allow us to offer a wide range at great value prices."
Mike Jones, managing director of electrical superstore Bennetts, based in Hall Road, said: "It seems Tesco are able to get the nod from planning committees that other people find more difficult to get. As Tesco grows and is allowed to grow then they get closer and closer to having a monopoly. But what people have to realise is that ultimately it will reduce choice. When they get more of the market it reduces the market for somebody else."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fakenham Co-op to close

Seventy workers in Fakenham face Christmas on the dole after the shock announcement that one of the town's supermarkets will close in two weeks. Rainbow Foodstore, in Holt Road, will shut on November 25 after 22 years in the town following the sale of the site to rival low-cost supermarket Lidl, staff have been told. Staff say that Lidl intends to rebuild the store, which is expected to take at least six months, but said they are still waiting find out what job or redundancy offers will be available. A Tesco store opened in the town in August and some customers believe the store is the latest local casualty of the unstoppable march of the supermarket giant.
The manager at the Fakenham store said he was unable to comment but that the co-operative would issue a statement today. No one was available for comment from Lidl.

Controversial Tesco to finally get the nod

Tesco is likely to have its controversial Balham Hill development authorised this week - more than four years after Wandsworth Council went to the High Court to try to stop it. The decision comes 14 months after the retail giant opened the supermarket without active planning consent.
Tesco was told by Lambeth Council to submit an entirely new application after it demolished an excessive amount of the listed Cooper Building. The company failed to comply with conditions imposed to protect the Clapham Conservation Area and ensure public safety. These conditions were set by then Secretary of State Stephen Byers in December 2001. He decided to grant planning permission despite a Government inspector recommending rejection of the Tesco plans.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Firm claims support for Tesco Town

Retail giant Tesco today claimed local people were in favour of its plans for a massive development in the West End, Glasgow. A public outcry followed the supermarket giant's announcement that it planned to build a store, flats and an underground car park on a derelict piece of land at the foot of Byres Road. The scheme was branded "Tesco Town" and the local councillor likened the development to a "Soviet-era high-rise monolith". However, following a public consultation exercise, Tesco claims around 80% of local people are now behind the plan. Nick Gellatly, the company's corporate affairs manager, said: "An overwhelming majority of local people clearly recognise the regeneration benefits the development will bring. We are delighted with the level of support that has been shown." Mr Gellatly said that, after the initial controversy, the firm watered down its proposals and produced a revised plan. He added: "The revisions which we have recently submitted have proven popular with members of the local community. "A great deal of work has gone into improving our original plans and we are sure this has contributed to the high level of support. "Many of the issues originally raised in relation to the initial application have been addressed." But a community leader said he couldn't understand how the firm had arrived at its figure of 80% support. Jim McNeill, chairman of Partick Community Council, said there had been 750 objections to the plan and the general feeling in Partick was one of "overwhelming opposition". He said the design of the new store was ugly, and said there would be huge transport problems with up to 600 cars an hour arriving there. Mr McNeill added: "Everyone I have spoken to is against this, I have not met anyone who has anything complimentary to say about it." The company's claim of 80% support is based on the submission of postal feedback forms.

Public inquiry into Tesco store

Views are being sought for a public inquiry into proposals to build a new Tesco in Highams Park. The six-day inquiry takes place in January 2007 but the public are being asked for their views now. Plans to build a Tesco store and residential flats in Highams Park were initially rejected by Waltham Forest Council in February 2005. But the supermarket giant resubmitted a similar proposal in June the same year and in September the council approved the application.
In May 2006 the application became the first to be called in by new Communities and Local Government Minister Ruth Kelly. The application will now face a public Inquiry and the deadline for the public to submit their views is December 5.

Harrogate wait for Tesco to come

Harrogate, one of the few postcodes without a Tesco supermarket is waiting anxiously for Tesco to reveal its plans for land it has owned for over 3 years.
Tesco owns a large plot of land off Ripon Road on the site of the former New Park gas works, the Harrogate Advertiser can reveal. But the £2billion-a-year company, under official investigation for 'land banking,' says it will only buy land if it plans to develop it in the future. The Land Registry shows Tesco paid nearly £3 million for the site when the contract changed hands three-and-a-half years ago but since then the land has remained undeveloped. A company spokesman was unable to confirm or deny that Tesco owned the plot and said he could not reveal any plans to build on it at the moment. One local businessman told the Advertiser he had approached Tesco to ask if he could purchase the land, but the company told him it was not for sale.
Tesco currently owns around 260, or 81 per cent, of the 319 land banks held by the Big Four and takes almost a third of all grocery sales, but Friends of the Earth claims that could rocket to 45 per cent if it built on all the sites it owns.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Small traders’ joy as superstore is refused

Small traders in Chorlton are celebrating after planning chiefs threw out a bid by Tesco to open a giant superstore minutes away from the suburb. It follows a six-month campaign by businesses in the area who claim the 88,000 sq ft store, along with a 2,000 sq ft Tesco Express and customer car park, would threaten their livelihoods. The supermarket giant will now go ahead with its original plan to build a smaller 48,000 sq ft store on the same site in Stretford, next to the leisure centre on Chester Road, which it already has planning permission for.
This week a planning inspector rejected Tescos appeal finding that the larger store would result in a loss of business to local shops and an increase in traffic in the area. He also criticised the proposed design of the store describing it as "stark, crude and prominent".
Debbie Clarke, chairman of Fairtrade Chorlton, said she was delighted. She added: "They supported our view that many of our traders have tight profit margins and just a small drop in sales could mean the end for their businesses."

Tesco trade unions form a global alliance

At its meeting in Nyon, Switzerland yesterday, UNI Commerce Global Union decided to establish a world-wide Tesco Alliance. The Alliance will network affiliated commerce unions in all countries where the company is present, to ensure that fundamental workers' and trade union rights are fully respected by management, and to promote a constructive social dialogue and collective agreements.
In Thailand, Tesco's labour relations performance has not been up to the standards that one would expect from the leading British multinational. The small commerce union formed by the Tesco Lotus workers has experienced a rough treatment by local management, which has lead UNI to raise the problems in direct discussions with the group. The employment conditions that huge multinational retailers offer in developing or newly industrialised countries are of major concern for UNI Commerce. More often than not they are in stark contrast with the huge profits that Tesco and others can report on year after year.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tesco face fines in Hungary

The Tesco strategy of getting suppliers to take all the risks and bear all the costs is being challenged in Hungary. British supermarket chain Tesco could face a fine of billions of forints, the daily Magyar Hírlap reported last Monday. The results of a Competition Office probe into whether Tesco-Globál Áruházak has been abusing its market-leading position are expected to be made public this month. The company may be found to have violated the new trade law, which prohibits firms from abusing their dominant position to the disadvantage of suppliers. The ban applies in particular to traders forcing suppliers to use their own services or those of a third party. If the Competition Office establishes Tesco’s liability, it could act as a precedent in Hungary. Suppliers have raised numerous grievances against the chain. “We have to take on all sale risks. That means if goods aren’t sold, every single item has to be taken back. At the same time Tesco arbitrarily removes goods from offer without even informing us. In addition, suppliers have to bear all costs, including those that are the fault of Tesco,” a supplier from southern Hungary who wanted to remain anonymous told The Budapest Times.
The company is a notorious repeat offender. In the middle of October, Tesco had to pay out HUF 10 million (EUR 38,400) for violating consumer protection rules. The company was found to have charged prices on shelves, not displayed some prices and not listed various items on receipts. In June, Tesco had to pay a fine of HUF 100 million (EUR 384.000) for misleading customers. The company was also fined for similar offences in 2003 and 2004.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Prunella Scales turns the tables

Tesco ad star Prunella Scales is spearheading a new campaign - to stop mega-store chains moving into her local high street. The actress, thought to have made at least £1million advertising Tesco, handed over a 7,000- name petition calling for her local council to protect the "distinctive" character of Battersea, South-West London. She said: "I've lived here for 39 years. We don't want it to change."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tesco misses another deadline

Tesco has not given up its fight to set up shop in Alnwick, despite missing another deadline to submit plans. The superstore giant yesterday told the Gazette that it needs to reconsider its options after Sainsbury’s and Lidl were given the green light last month. Tesco had originally failed to submit a full planning application to Alnwick District Council in time for it to be considered alongside the other two supermarkets. And this week, it again failed to submit a full application despite vowing to lodge one with the council by the end of October. Max Curtis, Tesco corporate affairs manager, said: “While the decisions of the council and the Government have not gone as Tesco had anticipated, we have not yet given up hope of bringing a Tesco store to Alnwick. In light of the feedback from the council we will not be progressing our detailed planning application as planned. However, once we have had a chance to properly consider our options, we will update the community and our supporters.”

Tesco kills Baldock!

As someone who used to live in Baldock it is no surprise to read the following article. Since Tesco opened there has been a gradual decline in other shops and services available. It is a salutary tale for those who think a Tesco in Sheringham will have no impact.

Will the last person to leave Baldock please turn out the lights…
A PUB dating back more than 400 years has called time and closed, becoming the latest victim in a town that is losing its trade. The George and Dragon, on Hitchin Street, Baldock, dates back to the 16th century when it was a coaching inn. But over recent months the pub has struggled to bring in customers and the last pint has finally been pulled. A spokesman for the brewery, Greene King, said: "It's up for sale because it just doesn't fit with our current estate." But the pub joins at least four other outlets which have recently closed their doors in the town: Bob's Bathrooms on Whitehorse Street, Rogie's Headquarters on Hitchin Street and the Goldcrest Inn and Change of a Dress - formerly Truly Scrumptious - on High Street. One concerned resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "It's slowly turning into a ghost town. A few shops have shut and now pubs. Where will it end?"Things are getting slowly worse but, to be honest, even if more shoppers came to Baldock there is nowhere for anyone to park apart from Tesco. So, where do they go? This is going to become a one shop town."
North Herts District Council is ploughing £2m into a regeneration project planned for Baldock town centre in 2008, in a bid to look at new ways to attract people to the area. The Highways Agency, responsible for building the bypass, is also putting £750,000 into the spending pot. Cllr Ian Knighton said: "Over the last few years there have been a number of shops closing. Tesco has had an impact on the retail side of Baldock but the store is there and there's nothing we can do about it. We have to work with it. We are always trying to encourage new business within the town. We have funding coming in 2008 to help bring new life into Baldock and the town centre partnership is working together to see how it can further the well-being of the town. I do sympathise with the local traders. It's not easy. But it's about being realistic and seeing what we can do."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Council scrap Tesco land deal.

Councillors have scrapped a land deal with Tesco which was holding up development of Bridgnorth’s long-awaited relief road. Construction of the road to ease congestion could now start next year. The decision to scrap the Tesco deal signals the end of the “store wars” between Sainsbury’s and Tesco, with both companies vying to build at Smithfield in Bridgnorth. Sainsbury’s has planning permission to extend its store, while Tesco was refused permission to build a new store, also at Smithfield. Bridgnorth District Council had entered into an agreement with Tesco in 2001 which meant Tesco had first option on a council-owned piece of land which is key to both developments. Yesterday’s decision by the council’s resources and finance committee means Sainsbury’s bosses can now push forward with their scheme. The Sainsbury’s proposal, developed with Bridgnorth landowners Horne and Meredith, centres around the Whitburn Street relief road and a comprehensive redevelopment of the Old Smithfield site. Council spokeswoman, Eleanor Harris, said it was possible they could start work next year and the development could therefore be in place in 2009. Councillor Ed Shirley, chairman of the resources and finance committee, said: “The committee is delighted with the decision.”

If only Sheringham could do the same.