Save our Sheringham - Say NO to Tesco

Monday, February 26, 2007

New Petition on 10 Downing Street website

Why not add your name to the lesstesco petition on the prime ministers website -

its aims are "To put a cap on supermarkets opening up any more stores (particularly on high streets) to the detriment of small businesses. This will give people the choice to source more local/fresher/healthier food which is less damaging to the environment."

It may not help Sheringham, but it could help in the future.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Deadline for Objections is approaching

Don't forget. All objections to the Tesco store need to be made by Feb 28th.

Email and quote ref: 20070217

see for more details.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Unearthed: grocery giants’ land grabs

Some local markets are already dominated by a single supermarket chain. That grip could tighten as new stores are built, writes Ben Laurance.
The Competition Commission’s language was formal and measured: “The weight of evidence to date supports a finding that the relevant geographic market for the supply of groceries is local, rather than national.” When the commission last month presented its first broad ideas - its “emerging thinking” - after the launch nine months ago of an inquiry into the grocery sector, this single sentence was arguably more important than any other in setting the framework for the investigation’s next steps. It showed the commission’s determination to cut through nationwide data to focus on local markets in trying to establish if consumers are well served by the grocery retail industry.
Today, The Sunday Times can disclose the results of a new investigation that pinpoints the areas of the country where individual supermarket operators hold their tightest grip - and where that grip is likely to become even tighter. It shows that in some places one company is likely to control an astonishing 60% or more of large-supermarket retail space. These areas are likely to be the focus of the watchdog’s most intense scrutiny.
At one level, the commission was merely stating the obvious: people living in Devon don’t do their shopping in Doncaster. The watchdog has now formally signalled that, during the coming months, it will be examining the position facing consumers in every locality in the UK. In the words of the commission’s chairman, Peter Freeman: “We need to see what choices shoppers have in particular areas.” He is careful not to suggest that Tesco is the target of the inquiry. But nobody disputes that Tesco is the giant of the UK supermarket industry, with grocery sales almost double those of J Sainsbury or Asda. Tesco’s land bank - the sites it controls but where it has yet to build - is far bigger than those of its competitors. Although the commission acknowledges that Tesco controls more undeveloped land than anyone else in the UK, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of existing retail space, it is not giving details.
An investigation for Channel 4’s Dispatches has identified the areas where individual supermarket operators already have a strong grip on existing space. And by scrutinising data from the Land Registry, planning applications, company announcements and other public sources, it has pinpointed areas of Britain where a single chain will gain a predominant position by developing new sites and extending existing stores. The investigation has looked at supermarkets of 15,000 sq ft or more - known as “one-stop shops”, outlets big enough to do an entire weekly shop for a family. The evidence suggests that nationally, Tesco controls sites that would allow it to build as much one-stop space as all its competitors put together. Asda accounts for about a quarter of the potential new space on sites earmarked for development. Sainsbury and Morrison each account for less than 10%. This reinforces the picture of Tesco’s unparalleled success over the past decade in identifying development sites and snapping them up. As disclosed by The Sunday Times in December, Tesco accounted for more than half the net increase in UK retail space - both food and nonfood - in 2006. Sainsbury, overtaken as Britain’s biggest food retailer 12 years ago, has been distracted by trying to sort out its internal problems while Morrison has had its hands full grappling with the botched integration of Safeway since a £3.2 billion takeover three years ago. Even Asda, so skilfully revived by Archie Norman and Allan Leighton in the early 1990s, has faltered under the ownership of Wal-Mart. Far more importantly, given the commission’s newly declared “local” approach, it is the size of land banks in particular areas rather than the national picture that is now coming under scrutiny. The research highlights the mainland Britain postcode areas where a single operator has 40% or more of the existing one-stop grocery shopping space. Tesco is the biggest in 21 areas, Sainsbury in six and Asda in one. Stores in the pipeline mean that Tesco is likely to control more than 40% in 22 areas once it has developed its land bank. Asda will be above the 40% mark in three — Bol-ton, Sunderland and Kirkcaldy. The expansion plans of rivals will mean that Sainsbury is likely to see its relative position eroded in Bromley, to the southeast of London, but the company will still have at least 40% of one-stop space in five areas. In some postcode areas a single operator is likely to have a hugely dominant position. Sainsbury is enormously strong in southwest London, where it is reckoned to have 63% of one-stop grocery retail space. Expansion plans of its rivals will chip away at that share. But based on public data, Sainsbury will still have 60% of space. Tesco has managed to secure sufficient land in areas where it is already strong to make it even stronger. Developing its land bank in the Cambridge area will put it on target to have 61% of one-stop space. In Dum-fries and Galloway, its share could hit 68%, and in both the Uxbridge and Inverness postcode areas its share could hit 76%.
The commission is aiming to publish its provisional findings in June. Already Freeman’s words must be worrying some people in the grocery giants. He said: “We’re not here to punish the success of individual retailers, but we’re concerned with whether Tesco, or any other supermarket, can get into such a strong position, either nationally or locally, that no other retailer can compete successfully.”

The Supermarket That’s Eating Britain will be shown on Channel 4 at 8.00pm tonight.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Some important dates for your diary

Add the following dates to your diary and keep up-to-date with the Tesco saga.

Friday 16th Feb - Shopping the Supermarkets. Report on BBC1 09:15 - 10:00
Monday 19th Feb - The Supermarket thats eating Britain. Dispatches Channel 4 20:00-21:00
Wednesday 28th Feb - last date for objections to Tesco's store application
Thursday 1st March - West Area Development Control committee meeting
Thursday 15th March - Joint Development Control committee meeting
Thursday 22nd March - potential site visits
Thursday 29th March - West Area Development Control committee meeting
Monday 2nd April - LDF plans before Cabinet
Thursday12th April - Joint Development Control committee meeting
Wednesday 18th April - LDF plans before Full Council
Thursday 19th April - potential site visits
Thursday 26th April - West Area Development Control committee meeting
Thursday 3rd May - Local elections

Monday, February 12, 2007

Shopping the Supermarket

Don't forget to watch the investigative reports into supermarkets being shown on BBC1 each morning this week between 09:15 & 10:00. The one on Friday will feature Sheringham.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It just gets bigger and bigger!

The plans for the proposed Tesco in Sheringham are now available and they show that even more land has been included this time. Both Flint cottages next to the Tyneside Club will remain but no longer have gardens, this is to make an even bigger car park. This just emphasises how much traffic the store will generate. To make your objections known to the council write to
Head of Planning
Holt Road
NR27 9EN
or email

Monday, February 05, 2007

Tesco plan for Sheringham

The EDP has an article on the new Tesco store with some comments from Michael Kissman, Tesco corporate affairs manager.
I agree with him in only one respect "“We hope that local people will let the council know their views about the store”.
Keep watching this space for more details about the application and how to oppose it.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Tesco submit new plans

I understand that Tesco have now submitted new plans for a Tesco store in Sheringham. I haven't yet seen the detail but I am sure we will all need to be ready to fight as it is unlikely they have made any major changes to their proposal.

More news as it happens.