Archive for 17th August 2009

East Area Committee to discuss planning enforcement at Tesco site

A meeting of the East Area Committee is to take place this Thursday to discuss planning enforcement at the Tesco site.

Date: Thursday 20 August 2009
Time: 10am
Place: St Phillips Church, 185 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3AN

The agenda has now been published.

The City Council previously issued a public statement recognising the validity of the planning condition preventing lorries unloading from on Mill Road for this site:

“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”

* Read our FAQ for the latest on all aspects of the Mill Road Tesco issue. A legal update will also follow soon.

We would ask supporters to gather outside St Phillips Church at 9.30 to express our view that deliveries by Tesco to the site will be dangerous. Please bring any transport-related banners.

STOP PRESS: Tesco lose application for an alcohol licence

Tesco have failed in their attempt to obtain a licence to sell alcohol on Mill Road, an area with a known alcohol problem that is also a Cumulative Impact Zone.

[Update: Minutes of the meeting are now available.]

The police, represented by a legal team, objected in strong terms to the application.

Our representative, together with other local residents spoke at the hearing. Thanks to all who opposed the application (121 representations, vs. 2 in favour) and/or took part in activity to prevent this.

So far, therefore, Tesco have:

  • Lost a planning application and Public Inquiry to build an extension
  • Lost a planning application and pulled out of a Public Inquiry for air conditioning
  • Have a planning condition requiring them only to deliver from within the site (i.e. not from Mill Road), a matter on which we are currently seeking enforcement
  • Lost an attempt to sell alcohol

Tesco state on their website that:

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

We wonder what they thought they were doing on Mill Road …

CEN article: Tesco set for 15th city store

Note: NMRT has no view on other Tesco stores around Cambridge. However, this story will be of interest to some of our supporters, and it also mentions the artistic protest event which took place at the weekend.


TESCO is considering opening another store in Cambridge – the supermarket giant’s 15th in the city.

The former Dreams bed shop in East Road has been earmarked as a prime site for an Express store.

The latest proposed scheme would be less than one mile from the controversial store in Mill Road, which is set to open on August 26.

There has been furious opposition to the Mill Road shop, due to the street’s reputation for unique, independent retailers.

More than 5,000 people signed a petition against it, but some residents are in favour, saying Tesco will bring cheaper prices.

The No Mill Road Tesco Campaign this weekend held a demonstration at the site for the second Saturday in a row.

And Cambridge City Council is today (Monday, 17 August) set to decide on an alcohol licence for the store.

Beverley Carpenter, the No Mill Road Tesco Campaign co-ordinator, said: “It was quite a lively protest.

“We were protesting about the licensing application. We decorated the fence around the site with lager cans. We are hopeful the application will be turned down.”

She said while the group felt it was “really inappropriate” to have a Tesco store on Mill Road, it did not hold particular views on applications at other sites in the city.

Dreams, the bed linen and furniture store, has moved to the Beehive centre and held its grand opening this weekend.

Glen Deadman, assistant manager of Dreams, said: “I think it would be good if Tesco is moving to our old site.

There are so many students and people on that road that would use it. The road needs brightening up.”

London-based CgMs, which has been the planning agent for Tesco’s Mill Road store, is also overseeing applications to Cambridge City Council for the East Road venture.

Plans for “plant works to rear enclosed by 2m high hit and miss fence” at the site were approved earlier this year.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We are always on the lookout for possible new sites all over the country and are often in negotiations for suitable schemes for Express stores.

“However, these often never materialise and until an agreement is reached or an application made we would not comment on individual cases.”

Cambridge Evening News, 17th August 2009