Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.

CEN opinion: Tesco must abstain from selling drink

TESCO eventually won the fight to open a store in Mill Road, Cambridge.

But the supermarket giant has still to win over a large section of local residents, and appealing against the council’s refusal to allow the shop to sell alcohol will do it no favours.

If Tesco bosses really want to be part of the Mill Road community, they should listen to that community. Police could not make it clearer the street has a serious problem with alcohol abuse.

Tesco claims not to push for licences in such areas. It should take its own advice. It would go a long way towards convincing its opponents it is not just pursuing maximum profit at any price.

Cambridge Evening News: leader, 3rd October 2009

Tesco appeal failure to obtain alcohol license in Cumulative Impact Zone (update)

We have just received formal notification from the City Council that:

“Following the decision of the Licensing Sub-Committee on the 17th August 2009, we have been advised that Tesco Stores Ltd. have appealed the Sub-Committee’s decision and consequently the matter will be subject to a further hearing in the Magistrates Court. It is likely that persons who attended to speak on the 17th August may be asked to attend the Magistrates Court on a date to be set by them. We will keep you advised of developments.”

More news as we get it.

Tesco appeal failure to obtain alcohol license in Cumulative Impact Zone

Last month, Tesco failed in their bid to obtain an alcohol license for their Mill Road store, which is in a Cumulative Impact Zone, which creates a rebuttable presumption against new alcohol licenses. This is despite the statement on their website that

“We do not apply for licences in areas with known disorder issues”

We have now heard that, as expected, Tesco plans to appeal.

We are finding out exactly what process will be followed, and will report any updates here. We will maintain the opposition we successfully put forward at the Licensing Committee last month.

An update on this and other matters will be published shortly.

Mill Road Tesco issue featured in Private Eye!

Fame at last … We’ve made it into Private Eye – see Page 30 of the latest edition!

(Please let us know if you have a copy that we can scan and put here.)

Mill Road celebrates its independent shops and traders

On Saturday 12th September 12 noon to 2 pm, a celebration of local shops and independent traders will take place outside Hilary’s greengrocers on Mill Road. There will be a variety of activities, games, music, food samples provided by local shops and restaurants, and a BBQ as well as special offers. This event is open to all.

This event is organised by the No Mill Road Tesco Campaign as part of our support of local traders.

If you would like to help please turn up at 10.30.  All help will be greatly appreciated.

millroadcelebration

Dear supporters

P1120894Dear Supporters,

Despite two council decisions, one public inquiry and the best efforts of several thousand local residents over two years, Tesco are opening on Mill Road tomorrow, 26th August 2009.

We expect that a judicial review of the situation will happen later – hopefully very soon – but in the meantime, a judge has decided not to stop Tesco opening for now. With that in mind, we would like to say what we think this does, and doesn’t, mean, and what we want to do next.

The fact that very few local residents seem to want them while thousands want them to stay away; that they already own 13 stores in our small city, and are already trying to open yet another, on East Road; that their delivery operations have been judged to be dangerous by all competent authorities that have looked at them (and by Tesco themselves); that they would be more expensive and offer less choice than the existing shops; that they have been refused applications for the site again and again – none of this has been enough to stop them opening.

We think that any system where this can happen is a system that is deeply flawed and needs fixing. We think that local residents should have a meaningful voice in what happens to their community, so that when a dangerous and unpopular scheme like this appears, the community can take action to stop it.

But we also think that however unhappy we may be about Tesco opening, that the community has won far more than Tesco from this fight, and we won from the moment that the first person signed the petition, or put a poster up in their window, or went to a campaign meeting.

Whatever happens in the future, Tesco will never get back the more than £4.6 million in lost turnover that we estimate the delay in opening has cost them. They will always have been humiliated at two council meetings, a public inquiry and an alcohol license hearing. The delay meant, too, that they have had to open after Mill Road became a cumulative impact zone, meaning that they did not get an alcohol license. The efforts of the local community to highlight the dangers of deliveries and the noise and nuisance of their plans also meant that they had to open a much smaller store than they wanted, and one that is more expensive to operate. All this means that the local community has managed to permanently restrict the damage that this store can do to the area.

In contrast, the community has gained more than any of us could ever have imagined when the campaign started, almost two years ago. Many of us know our neighbours better, use our local shops more, and have learned to do things that we never thought we could do. The campaign has shown that thousands of people of every political viewpoint, age, religious view, and background can put aside the things that divide them and stand up together for something that unites them.

The mural on the Mill Road bridge says “respect and diversity in our community”. We think this campaign has proved that this is exactly what the Mill Road community is like. We always knew that Mill Road was a special place; that’s why we’ve all fought so hard to protect it. The two years of that fight have shown us how right we were.

So, even if Tesco are eventually allowed to stay open on Mill Road, we think that the community is much stronger and Tesco is weaker as a result of what has happened here.

So what happens next? Well, that depends on the outcome of the legal process, but in any case there are two things we would like to ask you to do if you have supported the campaign. These reflect the two concerns that have come up again and again over the last two years – the threat to road safety and the threat to local shops.

We are asking everyone to keep an eye on Tesco’s deliveries. They are not allowed to stop lorries (their own or their suppliers’) on the street – either on Mill Road or Sedgwick Street. They have to respect the one way system. If they don’t, or if they stop on the street, let us know and let planning enforcement and the police know.

traders

Traders of Mill Road: Support variety and choice on Mill Road

Secondly, and just as importantly, the best way that you can show your continued opposition to Tesco is to support your local independent shops. It’s likely that most of us will never want buy anything from this store, but more important than a boycott of a dull, overpriced chain store is a commitment to actively support the diverse and independent shops that Tesco threatens. Tesco will only hurt these businesses if we let it; so we’re asking all supporters to buy something from an independent business on Mill Road tomorrow. And to do the same the next day. And the day after that. Using our local shops is the way to keep them alive.

We will let you know as soon as we have any news about the legal action, but until then these are things that we can do, starting tomorrow, to help our community.

With all our best wishes and gratitude for your support,

The No Mill Road Tesco Campaign Committee

PS There will not be a protest at the opening of the store.

Legal action – money raised

Dear Supporters,

We emailed you on Saturday to ask if you could help us with the costs of legal action. Thanks to your amazing generosity, we have now raised enough money to cover these costs. The fact that the target has been reached so quickly is the clearest possible signal of how strongly we all feel about the situation and the need for legal action to resolve it.

With huge thanks,
The No Mill Road Tesco Campaign

Legal update

A considerable amount of legal correspondence regarding High Court action is being undertaken by our lawyer at present, between ourselves, Tesco’s legal representative and Cambridge City Council. This is in the light of various announcements and statements from both Cambridge City Council and Tesco themselves relating to the planning conditions, their enforcement, and delivery options.

We will publish a more detailed update as soon as possible.

Thank you to the very many of you who have contributed to our legal fund. Further donations can be made at Arjuna or Libra Aries.

CEN article on security guard

The Cambridge Evening News has today published an article concerning the hiring of a security guard at the Tesco site. Local residents such as ourselves are well aware that Tesco have in fact had a security guard present for over a week, and that this story is not in fact news.

The No Mill Road Tesco Campaign has always conducted its activity through entirely peaceful and lawful means. We note that the article did not feature any quotation from us.

We have always undertaken entirely legal and legitimate campaigning activity. We condemn any activity which involves violence, damage to property or non-courteous approaches to Tesco’s employees or contractors. Also, we were not connected to the squatting activity.

Delivery options: key points

Tesco have pursued two delivery options for their large lorries. Here are key quotes, with sections in bold being our emphasis:

1. Delivery from Mill Road:

Tesco have said:

“We will deliver to the front of the store as the previous occupants did and as do most retailers on Mill Road.”

Deliveries via the front entrance was also clearly marked on the plans presented at the licensing committee meeting, where Tesco lost their application to be allowed to sell alcohol on Mill Road.

The City Council planning department have said:

“There is a lawful planning consent for the use of 163-167 Mill Road for retail use which requires deliveries to be made only from a rear service yard. We are urgently contacting Tesco to establish the company’s intention for the premises given the lawful consent. If it becomes clear that enforcement action may be necessary then the officers will report to members as soon as possible on options for further action”

and

“There is no hard evidence of a continuous 10-year breach by the previous occupant.”

And the government inspector, concluded (when judging Tesco’s now-failed attempt to add an extension) that:

“I find that the Mill Road delivery option would pose unacceptable risks to highway safety in general, and for cyclists in particular.”

“I conclude that it would be unacceptable for 10.35m long lorries to load and unload from Mill Road. […] In my opinion this was also the purpose of the condition imposed in 1972.”

2. Delivery around ‘the loop’ (Catharine Street and Sedgwick Street):

Tesco have now said:

“As you know the building does have a planning condition, which dates back quite a way that requires deliveries to be made to the rear doors.  This condition was in force prior to the surrounding roads being made into a one way system and would now require delivery vehicles to drive along residential streets.

“As part of our good neighbour policy we always consider local residents and neighbours and this was certainly a factor in our choice to deliver to the front of the store, as did the previous occupants, and most of the other traders along Mill Road do.

“Although we think this is probably the best option for the area I would like to confirm that we plan to service the store from the rear.”

i.e. drive round the loop into the rear of the site, manoeuvre a lorry in (and hope that there is space left in the car park).

Their consultant previously said [link], however:

“Due to the one way nature of Sedgwick Street access to the rear of the site would be via the ‘loop’ formed by Catharine Street and Sedgwick Street. This arrangement has the potential to cause detriment to the amenity and safety of local residents, due to multiple delivery movements per day with what will still be large vehicles. There is the also potential that poorly parked vehicles on could block access, requiring long and potentially dangerous reversing manoeuvres or police action.”

And the government inspector, concluded (when judging Tesco’s now-failed attempt to add an extension) that:

the loop option “would pose a significant increase in the risk of accidents, damage and injury to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians around the loop”.

I find that both of the realistically available servicing options would pose unacceptable risks to highway safety, which would not be outweighed by benefits or the fallback position. I therefore conclude that both appeals should be dismissed.”