Save our Sheringham - Say NO to Tesco

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Come on Sheringham- tell Tesco what you want.

Tesco have said they are happy to discuss thoughts about a store in Sheringham, just email

Now's your chance, don't say you weren't asked!

Tesco urged to talk to locals over store

A “talk to the locals” plea has been sent to Tesco as it redraws its controversial plans for a store at Sheringham. The message comes from the top officer at North Norfolk District Council, which has taken the usual step of making its feelings known in an open letter to Tesco's boss. But it crossed in the e-mail post with a press release from Tesco saying they had already been talking to the locals, hundreds of whom were in favour of a new store. The exchange however has highlighted the fierce divide caused by the saga, with anti big store protestors saying Tesco's claims were meaningless because they did not seek views on the size and location of the supermarket. Council chief executive Philip Burton today called on the retailer to consult a wide cross section of people including opponents and supporters of their scheme. The move follows Tesco's recent announcement they were going back to the drawing board, and hiring award-winning architects to devise a smaller and better looking store on the Cromer Road following years of applications, debates, decisions and appeals that has split local opinion. In the letter penned to Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy and copied to the local media, Mr Burton said the council had been approached by a number of community representatives asking how they could contribute to the development of the plans during their formative stages. The council encouraged Tesco to engage directly with local community organisations in the development of revised proposals in the hope that a “stronger degree of community support might be secured for any new proposal.” He hoped Tesco would see the “positive benefits” of such an approach. Explaining the move Mr Burton said there was a requirement for Tesco to engage with the community as part of the planning process, but it was felt that, because of the controversial nature of the proposals, there was a need to start earlier than when draft plans were on the table. It was taking the initiative however in its role as community leaders. Tesco spokesman Nick Gellatly said the company was “delighted” to receive the letter as it was “vital the voice of Sheringham people is heard in this debate”. He added that Tesco would be happy to discuss its thoughts with any community organisation or “individual of good will” who could contact him by e-mailing It came as the company announced that 1,200 people - 900 responding to a local leaflet and 300 signing up to a We Want Tesco in Sheringham site on the Facebook social networking internet site - supported a new supermarket. But Eroica Mildmay, chairman of the Sheringham Campaign Against Major Retail Overdevelopment, said the claim was misleading as the question only asked if people favoured a new supermarket.“So do we, but the devil is in the detail of where the location and size. It's like offering a snake and not saying whether it is a harmless grass snake or a venomous viper,” she added.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tesco rethink on Stalham plans

Tesco has dropped plans to double the size of its Stalham store shortly before the controversial scheme looked set to be turned down by councillors. The retail giant says the move comes after listening to advice from planning officers, and that it was confident a revised project would provide all the benefits of a larger store while addressing local concerns. It comes less than three weeks after Tesco also announced it was scaling down its equally controversial plans at Sheringham in a bid to find an acceptable solution to a long-running saga. In both towns opponents said a large store would damage the vitality of the existing town centre. At Stalham Tesco originally wanted to double the size of its 1,300 sq m store and up the number of car parking spaces from 189 to 362, move the petrol station and re-jig the entrance road to the supermarket and town. The scheme has already been back to the drawing board once for changes to the road junction after a consultation two years ago. This Thursday the latest plans were being recommended for refusal by North Norfolk District Council's east area development control committee because “the scale, layout and design would have an adverse impact on the character of the town,” along with concerns about road safety and flood risk. But Tesco spokesman Nick Gellatly todayconfirmed they were being withdrawn and an amended scheme would be submitted later this spring. He explained: “We have listened carefully to the advice of the council's officers.“It has been suggested that the design of the extension could be adjusted to reduce the apparent bulk of the building. We want to work up a scheme that is capable of reaching a consensus here. The amendments will also address issues relating to the scale of the extended store which the council's retail consultants have recently raised. We are confident that a revised proposal will continue to provide all of the benefits of a larger store but will also address concerns that have been raised by the council's officers and advisers”.Town council chairman Tony Ross-Benham welcomed a re-think on the plans. His council was among those with concerns about the impact if the larger store, and he hoped Tesco would this time listen to the main reasons for disquiet rather than just tinkering with some of the traffic measures which happened after the last consultation.“There is a need for more stock and choice, but it was too big. We would consider plans for a smaller store,” he added.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Opposition mounts to Tesco Stalham plans

Plans to build north Norfolk's largest supermarket in the district's second smallest town will face a mountain of opposition, both from local people and the authorities, at a key meeting next week. Tesco's desire to more than double the size of its Stalham store has been in the public domain since 2006, but a planning meeting on Thursday is the first decision making meeting on the matter. The presence of Tesco in Stalham has been a hot topic ever since the original store opened in 2002. Debate about how exactly much impact the store has had on neighbouring town traders has been vociferous. The extension plans would increase the total size of the store to 5,133 sq m, although it is the retail floor space increasing from 1,400 to 3,070 sq m which has caused the most alarm among local traders - especially as the majority of the new space will be taken up by non-food 'comparison' goods such as clothes and electrical items. Concerns set to be raised at Thursday's meeting will come from a host of directions and will include a view from Great Yarmouth Borough Council that a Stalham expansion, allied with potential expansion at the chain's Caister store, could lead to “a major impact” on shops as far way as Repps with Bastwick, Potter Heigham, Martham and Rollesby. The decision rests with the east area development control committee at North Norfolk District Council, who will hear objection from Stalham Town Council, CPRE Norfolk, the Stalham with Happing Partnership, their own officers, Norfolk County Council highways experts and the Environment Agency. There has been some support of the plans, with parish councils in the area split in their view, with some in favour and some against. If the new supermarket gets the go ahead, it will be bigger than the North Walsham branch of Sainsbury, the Morrison stores in Cromer and Fakenham and the Tesco in Fakenham. The plans include a major rejig of the road layout of the A149, including the construction of a new roundabout. Council officers will recommend Thursday's committee to refuse the plans because:
The scale of the development is unacceptable on retail policy grounds
The scale, layout and design would have an adverse impact on the character of the town and adjacent conservation area
The proposals fail to fully address highway safety and flood risk, while also failing to provide an adequate travel plan
Other issues for discussion will include the fact the expansion land is currently designated as an employment area, whereas supermarket land needs permission for retail use.