Archive for 24th August 2009

CEN article: High Court bid to stop Tesco


[NB: NMRT is not, and has never been associated with any attacks on staff and we deplore the suggestion here that this could be the case.]

ANTI-Tesco campaigners are heading to the High Court today in a last-ditch attempt to stop the supermarket giant opening in Cambridge’s Mill Road.

The Express store is due to open on Wednesday but No Mill Road Tesco has refused to admit defeat.

Campaigners are heading to London’s High Court to try to force Cambridge City Council to take action over Tesco’s plans to deliver to the store, which protesters have branded illegal and “dangerous”.

If the case against Cambridge City Council to force it to stop Tesco making deliveries goes ahead, there could also be a judicial review later this week.

The campaigners were out in force again on Saturday.

Campaign spokeswoman Ruth Deyermond vowed that the fight would continue.

She said: “This is a matter that is now before the High Court, and we are very interested to see their judgement of Tesco and the council’s actions.”

There has been furious opposition to the shop with more than 5,000 people signing a petition against it, but some residents are in favour, saying Tesco will bring cheaper prices.

Tesco chiefs say work is now almost finished on the new store which opens at 8am on Wednesday followed by the official launch at 10.30am.

Then store staff will celebrate by making a £500 donation to Arthur Rank Hospice.

Store manager Terry Barker is looking forward to working with his new team. The store will create 20 jobs.

He said: “We are delighted that we can create stable jobs for local people in this time of uncertainty. We look forward to playing an active role in the local community.”

The new store will open from 6am until 11pm seven days a week. It will also have a free cash machine although it will not sell alcohol after Cambridge City Council threw out a licence application last week following objections from the public and police.

Security guards will also patrol the stores in an “unusual step” by Tesco bosses who fear attacks on staff and customers from protesters.

It will also make deliveries to the back of the store after a U-turn on onstreet deliveries following warnings the move would be “dangerous”.

Cambridge Evening News, 24th August 2009

Press release: No Mill Road Tesco Campaign takes Cambridge City Council to court over failure to enforce planning restrictions

Richard Rippin, a member of the No Mill Road Tesco (NMRT) Campaign, will today seek a High Court Interim Order to halt deliveries to the proposed Cambridge store and ban the use of the Air Conditioning units that seem to have been installed contrary to planning controls.

Despite having no safe and legal means of delivering to the proposed Tesco Express site, the company intend to open the store this coming Wednesday. The City Council have been aware of these plans for at least six weeks but have done nothing to prevent them coming to fruition, and formalised their position of inaction at a meeting of their East Area Committee last Wednesday.

Further to the Interim Order, the campaign is also seeking a Judicial Review of the Council’s failure to act to prevent the unsafe operation of the store.

NMRT Committee Member Richard Rippin said, “As a resident of the area for 15 years, I know how dangerous Tesco’s delivery plans are. Everyone who lives in the area knows how narrow Mill Road is and how many road accidents there are already. Everyone who lives here also knows it would be impossible to send lorries around the area’s narrow residential streets several times a day.

“We are sad to be in the position of having to take the Council to the High Court, but we feel that we’ve have been left with no alternative. Whether Tesco try to deliver to the front or around the back in these lorries, they would be doing something which they are either specifically banned from doing at the site, or which a series of relevant professionals, including their own consultants, have said would be impractical and unsafe. The council have had several weeks to take action to stop this happening. On Wednesday they again decided to delay.”

Notes for Editors:

Richard Rippin can be contacted on 07886 757987 or

The NMRT Campaign has been running since September 2007 – see

During this time Tesco have lost 3 planning applications, an alcohol license application and a public enquiry. Many of these defeats have been based on the fact that there is simply no safe way to service this site with in the region of 35 deliveries per week, using large vehicles which would either have to block a major route in and out of the city centre for extended periods each day, or navigate around narrow one way streets, which Tesco themselves have said was unworkable.

Over 5000 local people have signed a petition against the proposed store.