Wednesday, March 05, 2008

That's all folks

From the Shuttle the DCC has voted 9-2 in favour of the Tesco plan, so now only the Secretary of State can stop it now; oh but at least we're getting £478,000 for bus services. Oops silly me up to £478,000, yep a maximum not a minimum.

The Shuttle has also expanded the Town council meeting report. As I feared technically they had little choice despite the colossal mess they might know this is going to cause; and quite correctly if this was taken to appeal and the council lost (on said technical grounds) they'd lose any of the imposed conditions that might keep the problem in some sort of check.

Ah well all we can do is wait to see what is actually going to be done, as opposed to what has been said is going to be done, and see if Tesco bother to follow the planning conditions that have been set. Hopefully unlike the building of Mitton Park someone will be available to monitor the situation.

24 comments:

Don B said...

It is possible for those of us who oppose any supermarket to challenge this decision on the grounds that this a category A1 store on a site zoned for B and C. We could consider taking a class action for a judicial review on the grounds that the Members of WFDC have broken their own policy to accommodate Tesco's and should have abided by their policy.

FlipC said...

And if the LDF had stopped at 'for C3 and B1 use' I'd agree, but they just had to add in that 'and possibly for A1' so they're covered.

The retail plan states we need X amount of space, Tesco's will provide it, and the only site close enough to fit with the LDF is CoW. It's never been earmarked for A1, it's never been designated primarily for A1; but all the pieces do slot together neatly, which is what I've always been afraid of.

Tesco were offering a quick and easy solution that could only be countered on impact grounds, the STC and WFDC (via consultants) are happy that's not a factor so...

Don B said...

But did they meet the other criteria of "should there be a demonstrable need during the Plan period to 2011, a possible new food supermarket (A1)."

I have not heard from you or Tav that evidence of a "demonstrable need" was met.

FlipC said...

The Retail Plan assessed the current floorspace of the town, and set 'targets' to be met. IIRC it doesn't care how that target is met, that's dealt with in the Development Plan.

This is one of the reasons I've been going on about the fact that A1 != supermarket. We could have had a bunch of individual stores that would have met all the criteria, except you'd have to demonstrate that you've got businesses ready to move in.

OTOH if a plan had gone in for B1 units, I doubt any such need would be required as that was the primary designation for the site.

Tav said...

My namesake has been mentioned, I feel I must respond:

I may be stepping on FlipC's ground here but...

If you want some good news I think the people have won the battle against Tesco with the development of a food store and not an all-encompassing supermarket. This gives objectors leverage to argue against Tesco if they start to introduce non-food items or even semi-food items (e.g. pet food).

However the ambiguity of words in key council documents are going to give Tesco scope to muscle in on non-food markets:

para.5.4, 'Retail (A1)', Severn Road Development Brief: "...a possible site for a foodstore".

para.4.36, p.36, 'Severn Road – Carpets of Worth Site (STC.2)', Retail and Commercial Leisure Study: "...a possible new food supermarket (A1)"

para.7.31, p.90, Retail and Commercial Leisure Study: "... a sufficiently large, modern new store in Stourport to be able to claw back a proportion of the expenditure on convenience goods currently being leaked from Stourport’s convenience catchement area to stores in Kidderminster."

(These are on our side):
para.7.17, p.86, Retail and Commercial Leisure Study: '"...a new foodstore in Stourport"

para.10.9, p.111, Retail and Commercial Leisure Study: "The Carpets of Worth site presents an opportunity for
the development of a new foodstore of sufficient size to meet main food shopping requirements."

para.4.42, p.38 of Retail and Commercial Leisure Study: mentions Tesco but only after the 2011 deadline.

Retail Monitoring Report: "The Carpets of Worth Site has been earmarked for a foodstore"

If you want my advice: Don't ever call this bloody thing a supermarket, don't give them even one tiny chance to think that its more than a food-only outlet. When they start to creep into non-food raise the alarm bells, even for things like chewing gum.

Tav said...

Is it a coincidence that the retail plan has scope until 2011 and in 2011 the government have agreed to review the Stourport Relief Road again?

FlipC said...

No toes trod on. As I've said, and you've condensed, the reports hedge their bets.

As for maintaining it as a foodstore, exactly what can be done if they fail to comply. A café (A3) is still selling food. Can they sell magazines, newspapers, lottery tickets, cigarettes, or flowers?

If they start selling electrical goods can they appeal that they are not competing directly against any Stouport stores? If that goes through then expect DVDs and CDs to be sold next, and then it's just a matter of time before they point out the oddity of them being unable to sell clothing and how this is detrimental to the desires of their customers.

Slippery slope my friends, slippery slope.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you men actually do the household shop. If not have you asked your ladies if they want a new Tesco or not. You just can't get all you need from the current Tescos plus theres not enough car parking. If you have small children and prefer Tesco brand then you have to go to K'minster cos you cant get nappies, baby food, etc. cos theres not enough shelf space. As for the traffic problem, there once was a ruddy great factory there with two entrances, also the power station nearby, a vinegar factory and Parsons Chain, all sending out a stream of lorries. No complaints then was there? And unless Tesco is going to include a charity shop, bank, bulding society or a fast food outlet then it won't make the slightest difference to the town. It's half dead already.
There are more people who want a new Tesco than you realise.

FlipC said...

"and prefer Tesco brand" *bing* why not substitute Asda there instead, you've an even longer journey in that case. What you're really saying here is that people who want to shop at Tesco would prefer a bigger store closer to them. Which is fine, selfish, but fine. Except why couldn't Tesco wait and then expand behind the existing building?

Well if they wanted to build an entire new building they'd have to knock down the existing one (at their expense) while not trading. Whereas with the new site they've a relatively clear site and can continue trading right up unto the point they switch.

Now I do the main shop at the Co-op and yes as I've said there are some things I can't get there and I head into Kidderminster to Sainsbury's, but I also do other things in the town while there.

I don't go specifically to Sainsbury's then turn around and come back I head into town too, but I can do that because it's so easy to get their from Crossley (and even Tesco) by foot. That's not the case with the new site in Stourport without a lot of work on the footpaths, which in turn is going to affect the traffic.

As to not making a difference to Stourport who's taking over in the soon to be old Tesco store? If the greengrocer and the butchers are affected are we going to get more charity shops or more vacant buildings?

Being optimistic you could say that the new Tesco will encourage other stores into town, except for the larger brands there's nowhere suitable in terms of size in town. Hmm perhaps they can use that other section of the CoW site?

Anonymous said...

I object to being called selfish. But then I think you're arrogant in believing that everyone should agree with you. You give the impression that whatever plans had been put in for the C of W site you'd have read, cogitated, disected and made sure you disagreed with everything. Instead of staying hunched over your computor for the many hours it must take you to type all your blogs, come out to he real world, speak to real people and get some real opinions.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I have to agree a little. You do seem to take things a little too seriously. Come on, say something nice about something for once. You might make yourself look a little more human. After all, as they say........
'every litle helps'

FlipC said...

@Anonymous #1: "selfish" only in respect that you want a Tesco there as you prefer the Tesco brand, while those who prefer Asda would want their store build instead. I didn't say it was a bad thing in fact I said it was fine - twice.

Do I think everyone should agree with me? Hell no, life would be too boring. If you check through these entries you'll note some people who've contradicted or corrected me and I've at times altered my viewpoints based on this.

"disagreed with everything" whatever the CoW plans would have been? No if the plans had been for what the site was primarily designated for then I wouldn't have disagreed with them.

"hours typing blogs" nope I can type and I'm a speed reader, as for garnering 'real opinions' in the 'real world' yep I do that. Most people seem worried about the traffic and the shopping drain from the town, while at the same time stating that the current Tesco is too small and it would be nice not to travel into Kidderminster; IOW contradictory and yes vaguely selfish.

FlipC said...

@Anonymous #2: Sure I take things seriously I don't want the town to turn into a row of boarded up shops. As for saying something nice, okay - the new Tesco might encourage other retailers into the town in an attempt to piggyback the Tesco sales, how's that?

The reason I don't hand out this type of niceness is that Tesco pay shedloads of money for people to do it for them. As they're hardly likely to turn in documents that say "Hi we'd like to build a really big store here that'll screw up your traffic patterns and close most of your local businesses" someone's got to be the amateur naysayer here.

Anonymous said...

From Anon 1 - OK point taken. But this morning I was in town and visited 4 small shops. I asked in all of them what they thought about having a new (bigger) Tesco and all owners said that they hoped it would bring trade into the town as it was quite dead at the moment and has been for some time. You say you go into Sainsburys(?) and then on into Kidderminster town so hopefully the same will happen in Stourport.
I also heard that Asda will be coming to the old sugar beet site. Have you heard anythin bout that?

Tav said...

What Asda at the sugar beet site! Is that the best we can do? This area has the prestigious label of 'Stourport Road Employment Corridor', and the best employment we can muster is stacking shelves. Come on Wyre Forest we can do better than that, how about some manufacturing jobs, or if not then some service/office jobs. Would Asda pay towards the Kidderminster Southern Link Road or Stourport Relief Road? Probably not, Tesco didn't.

Tav said...

@Anonymous #1: How true is this rumour? The site [sugar beet site] has been identified for Class B1, B2 and B8 uses only.

janutd said...

I work in a shop at weekends and my boss always seems to get the latest info. (has friends in high places) and he told me this today.

janutd said...

Sorry, re above I'm formally known as Anon 1

Anonymous said...

British Sugar cant be Super market as in the blast zone of Ashland. or Housing, so will be employment land.

Don B said...

In Kidderminster there is a large Tesco's plus one at Foley Park, one at Spennells, a Tesco Express at Bewdley Hill, a One Stop Shop (owned by Tesco) on Comberton Hill and they are converting the old Choices store/ex-Lloyds Bank again on Comberton Hill to a Tesco Metro. What makes any one think that they will be closing their Lombard Street store? They are out not just to be the number one retailer but to be in such a dominant position that they can effectively control the whole of the UK economy.

Tav said...

The application has an obligation of Tesco to the council, "...to close the existing Tesco store in Stourport to the public on or before the opening of the new store" [obligation 13]
Note it doesn't say Lombard Street just any Tesco store in Stourport. Tesco could convert Pennywise into a Tesco Express and then promptly close it before the Super Food Store and they would still be in compliance with this obligation!

However, let's project into the future and say they do close and sell off the Lombard Store. It's late 2010 and Mothercare now operate from the Lombard Street location. Tesco start to creep into non food, hey that 'New Superstore' has been on that lamppost on Gilgal since December 2008. They start to sell nappies next to the baby food. Now imagine one of the 'ladies' (to use previous mentioned term) is shopping in Tesco Super Food Store, she gets some baby food then sees nappies for sale. Umm, I wonder it is easier to buy the nappies at Tesco while she is food shopping or drop the shopping in the car (including freezer items) then walk into Stourport (a fair distance) and then walk up to Lombard Street? If the people who live in Stourport or the people who know Stourport think about this they will know the answer, so does Tesco!

FlipC said...

Wow a string of comments.

@Janutd- To pick up on Tav's point I do hope that people will be drawn into the town, but remember the independent consultants themselves said the development was classed as 'out-of-town' and could only be reclassified as 'edge-of-town' with a widening of the pavements in Mitton Street thus lowering their maximum vehicle capacity. As I've been accused implicitly of negativity I won't point out the conflict between building a new superstore and lowering the capacity of the road leading from it :-)

I'll also confirm Tav's statement that the British Sugar land was designated in the Local Plan as B1, B2, B8 with the only weasel get-out clause being a consideration for housing. That makes it very difficult to consider any form of A1 use.

@Tav - the key word is "existing" i.e. a store that is present at the time of the approval, but thanks for pointing that proviso out. Of course it just stops them trading from both stores simultaneously I expect the Lombard Street not to close until only a few days before the opening of the other.

As for the non-food trading, remember Jamie's answer that a petrol station was "a standard part of the supermarket service customers expect" what else is covered by that phrase?

janutd said...

I used to work at Worths and never saw it as out of town. It took about 5 mins to walk it. Hundreds of people all going the same wqay and no need for wider pavements.
And I hope that all supermarkets would stock nappies and baby wipes and baby food. Most do but you can't get the type you want in the current Tesco. Ask my daughter, shes always complaining about having to send her husband to Kidder.
And we now have more butchers in Stourport than we had a few years ago so they must be doing ok.
And Grinnalls has been a stalwart of the town for generations. Those of us who choose to shop at our local suppliers will continue to do so.
The End (for now)

FlipC said...

If you're walking past the Tesco will you head there first then continue into town, or finish up and walk back?

If you're walking into town not past the Tesco will you head there first then continue onto Tesco, or finish up and walk back?

If you're taking a car past Tesco will you head there first then continue into town, or finish up and drive back?

If you're taking a car into town will you head there first then continue onto Tesco, or finish up and drive back?

Maybe I'm just pessimistic, but I can't see anyone going past Tesco continuing on into town. Likewise for those driving into town from another direction, why go to the hassle of paying or trying to find a space when you can just carry on around to the free parking at Tesco?

I just see three of those four options ending up at the same place.