Archive for 24th July 2009

CEN article: Clash looms over Tesco deliveries

Home - Tesco Mill Road TESCO has vowed to make onstreet deliveries to its store in Cambridge’s Mill Road – despite warnings they could pose a danger to the public.

The supermarket has been warned by the Highways Authority, the Planning Inspectorate and Cambridge City Council not to deliver to the front of the store.

And ‘No Mill Road Tesco’ campaigners claim the company will be breaking the law and could face fines of up to £1,000 a day if it goes ahead with the plan.

But Tesco confirmed the company would make deliveries in the street, which is famed for its independent shops.

The News exclusively revealed that the Express store will open on Wednesday, August 26.

The plans were met with huge opposition when they were unveiled, including a 5,000-signature petition, street demonstrations and squatters who briefly turned the former Wilco shop into a social centre before they were evicted.

A No Mill Road Tesco campaign spokeswoman said: “Unlike other stores on Mill Road, this specific site has a planning condition preventing on-street delivery, as Tesco know.

“When the councillors refused Tesco planning permission in March and July last year, one of the reasons that they did so was because of the danger that Tesco’s 35 deliveries a week would pose to road safety.

“The government-appointed planning inspector dismissed Tesco’s appeal last November for exactly the same reason, that ‘the Mill Road delivery option would pose unacceptable risks to highway safety’.

“Both the planning inspector and the county council also said Tesco’s delivery cages would be dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists on Mill Road, because Tesco make so many deliveries every day.

“We are very interested to see that Tesco consider public safety, planning law, and the views of councillors and the Planning Inspectorate to be irrelevant to their business decisions. This is a matter we are pursuing through the appropriate channels.”

City council planning officer Peter Carter said: “There is a previous planning condition that deliveries cannot be made to the front of the shop.

If Tesco do deliver to the store at the front it may be a threat to safety and the council may have to enforce any alleged breach of planning conditions.”

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

A spokesman for the county council, the highways authority, said: “There is an old planning condition that still stands that they cannot deliver out front, and on top of that there is no waiting and no deliveries allowed at peak times.”

Published in the Cambridge News, 24th July 2009

Appeal for funds

Dear supporters,

As you probably know, Tesco have now said that they will open on Mill Road on 26 August, and are in the process of fitting out the site. However, they still have no way to make the deliveries they need legally and safely, and they have still not shown that they can open legally without further planning permission. We now have evidence that they are planning to ignore these problems, in the hope that no-one will challenge them. They are wrong.

Tesco have now confirmed, in writing, that they are planning to deliver to the site by stopping on Mill Road. This would be a breach of the planning conditions attached the site, and would ignore the judgement of the council and the planning inspector that this would be dangerous for everyone else because of the way that Tesco make deliveries.

We have asked the council to deal with these problems urgently, but we are also taking legal advice about our next steps. This means that we need money and although we have some money in the campaign’s account, further funds are required so we can continue getting legal advice and taking action. So, we are asking everyone who wants to keep Tesco off Mill Road if they can make a contribution. You can donate at Libra Aries on Mill Road, or send a cheque made payable to the MILL ROAD SOCIETY and sent to Libra Aries Books, 9 the Broadway, Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3AH. All donations, however large or small, will help us to keep fighting Tesco on Mill Road.

Finally, thank you to everyone who took the time to send in objections to the alcohol licence application. We will let you know when the date of the hearing is confirmed.