Archive for March 2008

Local Secrets survey finds clear majority feel EAC was right to refuse Tesco’s application

Local Secrets have conducted an indicative survey.

The results are now available.

Videos from EAC meeting

Here are some videos of the March 2008 East Area Committee meeting which a member of the public has added to YouTube:

Entry to the meeting:

Sonia Cooter (Campaign Coordinator) speaking against Tesco’s Planning Application:

Speech by the representative of Cambridge Friends of the Earth:

End of the speech by Michael Kissman (Tesco PR guy) and the public’s reaction to this:

Jannie Brightman’s speech as a resident against Tesco’s Planning Application:

Reaction by the public to the Councillors’ rejection of the Planning Application:

Photos from EAC meeting, March 2008

Some pictures from the meeting. Contact us if you would like to request a high-resolution version of any particular image.

Discussion café event

The student-run CUSU Ethical Affairs Campaign are running a Discussion Café on Monday 10th March at 7.30pm at the new student-run cafe on Jesus Lane.

A representative of the No Mill Road Tesco Campaign will report on progress with our Campaign.

(This meeting is rescheduled from last week’s postponed meeting.)

Opinion piece for ‘Local Secrets’

On Saturday morning, two days after the Council’s East Area Committee voted unanimously to refuse Tesco’s application to build an extension at the back of the old Wilco site, I did my usual round of the half-dozen Mill Road shops that provide almost everything my household of five people needs.

Continue reading ‘Opinion piece for ‘Local Secrets’’ »

East Area Committee: video coverage

Here is a short, edited video of the March 2008 East Area Committee meeting at which Tesco’s first application was refused.

On 6th March at St Philip’s Church on Mill Road, Councillors heard the application by Tesco for their proposed store on Mill Road. Packed with local residents, many carrying banners, the Councillors refused Tesco permission for the extension to the Wilco site. They require this extension in order to make the store viable and get access for deliveries although they currently hold the lease.

Speakers from Tesco, No Mill Road Campaign, Cambridge Cycling Campaign, and Friends of the Earth spoke.

Councillors followed planning directives allowing an ATM and sign for the store but on the crucial extension/access vote they did not.

As they considered their decision the community raised many ‘no’ messages into the air.

Campaigners, residents and small traders cheered and applauded.

Report and video also at

Victory poster

Print out our Victory poster!

CEN article: Tesco’s secret plan to beat Mill Rd ruling

[This CEN article contains Tesco spin which has, yet again, turned out not to be true …]

TESCO bosses have a secret strategy to open a store in Mill Road without further planning permission.

A team of experts and designers has already been drafted in to draw up a plan for the store in the existing building in Cambridge.

The revelation comes after the supermarket vowed to push ahead with plans for the store, despite a setback at a planning meeting on Thursday night.

Councillors threw out a bid from the supermarket giant to build an extension to the shop, which was hailed a victory for campaigners.

Home - Sonia Cooter

Sonia Cooter distributes leaflets about a protest

Since then the News has learned that store bosses have a back-up scheme already in place to open the controversial shop – bypassing the council.

Michael Kissman, Tesco’s corporate affairs spokesman, said: “Our preferred option is to have the extension, which would be better for our customers.

“We still think the extension is our best option.”
The revelation will come as a disappointment to campaigners against the store, on the street famed for its unique independent shops.

The No Mill Road Tesco campaign was triumphant after plans to extend the building were thrown out by councillors.

Campaigners and residents packed the Cambridge City Council East Area Committee planning meeting at St Philip’s Church, in Mill Road.

They cheered when councillors threw out the extension plans – but permission was granted for two signs, a shop front and an ATM.

Both sides in the battle hailed the decision as a victory.

Mr Kissman said: “This is good news for Tesco. We can now put up the sign and the ATM which means we could open the shop tomorrow.”

But Shilpa Shah, a member of the campaign committee, vowed that the protest would continue.

She said: “Obviously the campaign will carry on if Tesco open the shop whether they get planning permission or not.

“But Tesco have put it in writing that they need the extension for their fridges and storage to open the shop.”

Ruth Deyermond, planning co-ordinator for the campaign, was adamant that Tesco would not open the store.

She said: “We are ecstatic that seven councillors gave a flat no to Tesco on the extension. Tesco cannot open the store as it is. It is just not viable.”

The council has set out the reasons for refusal of the extension application.

Planners said that Mill Road is the third or fourth worst site in Cambridgeshire for clusters of traffic accidents.

They decided the extension “would seriously prejudice the safety and free flow of traffic on the public highway”.

The shortage of parking space in the area was also cited.

The campaign against the store has been mounting since the first application went in last September.

More than 5,000 people signed a petition against the plans and more than 1,000 sent letters of objection.

Cambridge Evening News, 8th March 2008

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Tesco Losing The Planning Decision


On March 6 2008, the Council’s East Area Committee (councillors for Romsey, Petersfield, Abbey and Coleridge wards) voted on Tesco’s applications for the old Wilco site at 163-167 Mill Road.

Tesco lost. Here’s how and why.

Continue reading ‘Some Frequently Asked Questions about Tesco Losing The Planning Decision’ »

Victory for No Mill Road Tesco!

Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting at St Philips Church last night, Thursday 6th March. The church was absolutely packed, and councillors were greeted by a row of pictures of Mill Road traders, held up by campaign supporters, to remind them what is at stake. The debate took place in the presence of hundreds of local people, and councillors listened to arguments about the impossibility of Tesco delivering safely and legally to the site, the huge impact on road safety and congestion that would result, the environmental impact of the plans and the noise and light pollution that would result for nearby residents.

As well as the campaign, speakers against Tesco included the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, Friends of the Earth, City Councillors Ben Bradnack and Raj Shah, and County Councillors Nichola Harrison and Alice Douglas. After discussing the arguments, and consulting with the planning officers, the East Area Committee voted to reject the planned extension unanimously, and to contest the existing appeal.

This is a huge blow for Tesco. Although planning permission was granted (with a split vote) for signage and an ATM, and there is no change of use required, since the point was so emphatically made that they could not deliver safely either to the rear or the front of the site, any shop they open will not be able to be stocked!

This will obviously not be the end of the fight, but it is a very important victory. Thank you to everyone for your continued support in this community fight to defeat Tesco.