Archive for 8th March 2008

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’ »