Archive for 19th July 2008

CEN article: Anti-Tesco protesters gear up for next fight

BATTLE plans to stop Tesco opening in Mill Road are being drawn up by protesters.

The No Mill Road Tesco Campaign is meeting next week to thrash out its next move.

They are determined to stave off the march of the supermarket giant into the street famed for its unique independent shops.

The move comes after Tesco bosses vowed to start work on the controversial shop in July, as the News reported.

They decided to go ahead with the store despite being refused planning permission for an extension.

That proposal was kicked out by councillors in March after more than 1,000 letters of objection and street protests.

Now Tesco chiefs have one more bridge to cross – planning permission for an air conditioning and refrigeration plant.

But the next meeting of council planners will be on July 31, which protesters say may scupper Tesco from starting work as planned.

Campaigners believe the bid will be blocked because Tesco’s announcement that it will start work in the store before the application is heard will “alienate” councillors.

And they have vowed to carry on fighting the supermarket giant, which already has more than 50 per cent of the grocery trade in the city.

Campaign spokeswoman Ruth Deyermond said: “Obviously they could, in theory, start work on the site before the council vote, but I can’t think of a quicker way to alienate the councillors than Tesco giving the impression that they expect any application they make to be simply nodded through.”

In the last six months, Tesco planning applications for stores in Poynton, Cheshire, Stourbridge, Inverness, Sheringham, Norfolk, Bradford and Mill Road in Cambridge, have been rejected, giving hope to campaigners.

A Tesco spokesman said: “The planning application will go through the normal democratic process, and we will await the outcome.”