Monday, 7 November 2011

Tesco decision delayed again

Cllr Phillip Grove the Leader of MHDC has confirmed that no decision on the Tesco application to develop the Tenbury Cattle Market site will be made this year. He also couldn't confirm that the planning permission would be ready for the January 2012 planning meeting either.


Tenbury Futures said...

Let's hope that whomever is chairing the eventual planning committee is regarded as objective and impartial then.

There has been rumor that Clr Tony 'Tesco' Penn is to chair it though - which given his well-known and often outspoken support for the Tesco application would be wholly wrong.

@WR15 said...

The Cllrs will follow the information from the Officers, if the application is valid and meets the criteria, then the Council solicitor will not allow any objections that are contrary to this. The Chairman only has one vote. What does it matter who chairs.

Eventually Tesco will tick all the boxes, so unless the law or planning policy changes or the landowner (or Tesco) change their mind, then there will be a Tesco built.

The only remaining question is how can the Town best benefit from the development.

Anonymous said...

tenbury futures are talking utter nonsense once again

Tenbury Futures said...

WR15 are you thus saying that the many 100's of planning objections that have been put in to MHDC [again] re the Tesco scheme are to be routinely ignored by MHDC?

If that is the case then why do MHDC have a planning system that encourages and allows the public to raise such concerns?

@WR15 said...

Council's will always encourage engagement, then it's our ideas not theirs.

I have said all along that the mass letter writing exercise was a waste of time, effort & money.

400+ copies of the same letter is a complete waste of time, although it does allow me to categorically say that the vast majority of people objecting do not live in Tenbury.

One well written letter bringing to the attention of the planners something that they may have overlooked would have (& has had) far greater effect.

Planning is not about public opinion. Some of it is objective, but that tends still no to be in the public domain but amongst paid professionals.

If all the boxes are ticked, permission is granted.

The only remaining question is how can the Town best benefit from the development.

Tenbury Futures said...

We know that's your perspective WR15 but if you recall the last occasion Tesco was rejected, the numbers of planning objections did have a bearing.

We well remember then a concerned-looking Clr Grove when he relayed to a TTC meet that 'over 800 local people' had objected. He clearly felt this amount of rejection from locals was a very serious issue.

The latest round of planning objections comes again from many hundreds of people in the Tenbury area in the main. This includes people from both the town and surrounding settlements served by the town.

MHDC have also assured us that each objection - whether pro forma or bespoke will be technically counted as an individual objection.

You may not feel that the will of these local people is important in this scenario WR15 but it's clear there are many who feel passionately otherwise.

@WR15 said...

"This includes people from both the town and surrounding settlements served by the town. "

Like Mr F from Austrey 71 miles,
Mr W from Oswestry 57 miles, Mr S from Kenilworth 58 miles, Mr T from Walsall 54 Miles, Mr M from Coventry 52 miles, etc etc etc etc.......

Anonymous said...

WR15. They could be visitors to our town who have come to Tenbury to see what they have LOST (The high street).

Ian said...

WR15 is absolutely correct. "Duplicate" or "chain" letters are an irritant and an irrelevance, quite apart from costing council tax payers a fortune. If the planning application ticks all the national and local policy boxes it will, eventually, get the green light. Bring it on . . . this town needs investment. Reflect on the dire current financial/economic circumstances . . . this is a company that wants to invest in Tenbury. Is there anyone else waiting or willing to do that?

Anonymous said...

All Tesco want is a massive slice of Tenbury's retail cake. Why can't they be honest and say we're here to make money, and there's a bit sloshing round Tenbury which we quite fancy getting our hands on?

@WR15 said...

Have Tesco ever said that they don't want to come here to make money.

Of course they want to make money.

They know that 60% of Tenbury's grocery spend is done out of town and they know that at least two of Tenbury's grocery stores make very healthy profits.

Tenbury Futures said...

We don't think anyone said that there weren't objectors from further afield too WR15. The Tesco application in the town is an issue that has clearly galvanised both local, regional and some people nationally to object. What we're pretty confident in saying is that the majority of objections come from Tenbury's surrounding area or town.

As anonymous says this is likely to because (in part at least) these people may be tourists and visitors who don't want to see the highstreet/town decimated courtesy of Tesco.

Why some members of the Town Council think that bringing in a commercial shark like Tesco to the town's highstreet in this fragile financial climate (post bridge closure) is a good thing is unclear though. Tesco have adversely affected so many towns now that you'd think these Clrs would know better.

400+ individual campaigns against Tesco nationally would seem to hint that the populus is starting to see through them for what they are.

Ian said...

Tesco is a company that wants to maximise its profits. What's wrong with that? You mean Bowkett's and Spar don't? Tenbury Futures seem to want us to believe that all the current retain outlets are charities!

Tenbury Futures said...

We have no issue with retailers making profits. It's Tesco's methods of doing so that is one of our many concerns.

WR15 himself knows [it was on this blog] that when Tuffins opened in Ludlow that Tesco blanket-bombed locals with Tesco money-off vouchers to try and limit their curiosity ref the new store in town.

It's well known that Landrindod retailers have observed specific targetting by Tesco there of other local shops such as the small highstreet boots/Co-Op etc. In the store there there have been signs saying "25% cheaper than Boots".. One could extrapolate from this that any Tesco store here could easily say "25% cheaper than highstreet shops" (such as our craft butchers, baker, vegetable, card and newspaper shops).

Tesco have made it known that they wish to take £280k a week out of the town. The key word being 'OUT' to their Cheshunt HQ in leafy Herts. Instead, money spent in our highstreet shops filters down into the local community/local supply chains much more obviously.

Even if such a potential store were to attract back a few people who use the convenience of online grocery shopping or other nearby supermarkets.. Then you don't have to be a maths genius to see that much of this anticipated profit will be at the expense of takings from our local highstreet shops.

Will such a store benefit our highstreet? It clearly won't - especially so in this fragile economic climate when much of our highstreet shops are struggling to stay above water anyway.

Anonymous said...

Tenbury Futures must wake up to the true facts that the majority of the residents in The Tenbury and st michaels parishes are in support of Tescos coming to Tenbury.
Tenbury Futures will be responsible, if Tesco ends up in Burford and there will be a exodus of shoppers that would be lost from tenbury for ever.Tesco will encourage more shoppers into the town, are Tenbury Futures shortsighted considering they have big links with bowketts and spa

@WR15 said...

The Tenbury Futures view does seem to be at odds with the professional retail analysts, the finding of the government report, which suggested that supermarkets should be encouraged to apply for stores in town rather than out of town, and indeed my own small research efforts.

Ian said...

Based on the number of lorries unloading at Spar and, especially, Bowkett's the benefit to the local community/supply chain must be rather modest. I think it's probably true that Bowkett's (can't speak of Spar as I very seldom shop there) do carry more local fresh produce than Tesco are likely to do . . . but buying these things from Bowkett's or (a much cheaper option) the Barn Farm Shop will still be an option. I certainly agree with the comment about the Burford option - THAT would be a disaster for the town. I wonder what TF's response to that would be?

Tenbury Futures said...

Both national planning policy (PPS4) and the Malvern Hills Local Plan require an applicant to conduct a retail impact assessment in support of such an application.

Tesco has not done so. We suspect because if they did do then the results would show that their plans WILL adversely affect highstreet trade and that these results would have to be made public.

The disproportionate nature of the plan would not support the vitality and viability of the town, but would seriously damage it. Furthermore, the Malvern Hills Town Centres & Retail Study states that “there is a need for only very modest levels of retail development in Tenbury Wells ... new retail development as part of mixed-use sites in those centres should be encouraged”.

As we've said previously on this blog - a supermarket of this size and nature in or out of town will prove detrimental to the majority of the other highstreet shops. Out of town will no doubt cause a greater issue to town trade but then Shropshire County Council are wiser to Tesco's dodgy methods after various skirmishes with them in Oswestry etc.

Much of the vacant brownfield land in Burford has now been utilised by Esterform expansion and the field adjacent to Boraston Drive has already been agreed for housing as and when it's developed (with an allowance for a very small 'express' style mini-mart shop only). The only other site next to a main road with the required transport infrastructure is the garden centre which is at present a viable business in itself.

@WR15 said...

I think you are mistaken about the need for Tesco to carry out a retail impact assessment, which is why they haven't. If it was a requirement then the application wouldn't have been validated without it.

MHDC commissioned their own assessment by an independent retail analyst which concluded the development wouldn't be detrimental which is why MHDC couldn't include "vitality" as a reason for rejection. Some Cllrs wanted to, but were overruled by the Council Solicitor.

Acorn said...

According to PPS4 it is necessary for an applicant to carry out a Retail Impact Assessment if they propose to build a development in an edge-of-centre position when the development is over 2,500sq m in size, or when the development is "likely to have a significant impact on smaller town centres, depending on the relative size and nature of the development in relation to the centre" (PPS4 Impact Assessment, paragraph 60,

This is supported by the Malvern Hills Local Plan, Section 3.4.27, which says that "Depending on the scale and location of the proposed development, the District Council may request that proposals are accompanied by retail impact assessments where it is considered likely that the proposal will impact on a town and district centre's vitality and viability".

This application is grossly disproportionate for a town the size of Tenbury, and grossly disproportionate for the size of the site on which they wish to build. Tenbury is a "smaller town centre" by any measure, and this development is 92.4% of the size at which conducting such an assessment would be obligatory in any centre, however large. In addition this application would provide 76 times the amount of extra food retail space that the Malvern Hills Local Plan deems necessary to Tenbury Wells before 2017. If a further point of reference is needed, my understanding is that the Tesco forecast is for the proposed store to have average weekly takings of £280,000. I understand the total weekly takings of all Tenbury's current shops to be around £250,000.

Clearly MHDC have chosen not to apply these guidelines, but that is not a reasonable decision. In any case, if there is no threat to Tenbury, what possible reason could there be not to conduct the assessment and shut us all up?

Ian said...

"Out of town will no doubt cause a greater issue to town trade" - a pusillanimous statement if ever there was one! Admit it . . . it would be a DISASTER!

Anonymous said...

Out of town /edge of town / town centre...............

The fact is that Tescos has a habit of barging into any vicinity and wiping out existing independants regardless of their quality. With independant stores, the profits tend to circulate locally, with tescos it flows out to corporate HQ.

This is due to pure predatory pricing, selling goods below cost when the supermarket moves in to remove competition then slowly remove these deals when the store is the only place to shop.

Tenbury Futures said...

Ian - our view is very simple - both scenarios would impact negatively on the town's shops, we've said it before and we'll no doubt say it again.. It's by no means a cowardly statement to suggest that both potential scenarios will be bad for the town's highstreet and that one would be worse than the other.. We've seen it happen before.

By Tesco's own stats we'll potentially see that min '60%' will just do a one stop shop, bundle up their chilled and frozen goods into the car and drive off back to get it all in the fridge etc over a very busy Teme bridge. These are the official [or most likely massaged] Tesco figures - allowing for 70, 80% or more is more realistic though. That'll be the large majority of shoppers who see no benefit to leaving their shopping in the car and strolling off into Tenbury's highstreet. The odd one that might are hardly likely to counter the monies Tesco will cream-off of highstreet shops existing diminished profits.

Interestingly the besuited Tesco PR droids who delivered their [not very polished] spin at a recent TTC meet mentioned their 'research undertaken by Southampton University' and how this had hinted at benefits Tesco brought to towns [but weren't specific]. I wonder why they didn't mention that the very same research project has indicated that the worst case scenario was where Tesco came into small towns with a wide range of bespoke independent food shops - ring any bells?

Anonymous said...

I am one of the majority in support of Tesco we do not need your utter talk of armageddon which you say would happen if Tesco came in fact it is be the compete opposite we will see more people walking the streets of our town.
Tenbury will not survive with out Tesco
Why did you not set up Tenbury Futures years ago you had your chance real reason you do not care about Tenbury if this plan fails and Tenbury does become a ghost town i will personally be holding you and your cronies responsible because Tenbury Futures have no intension of doing anything with the site if you did you would of done it years ago
Tenbury Futures are nothing but all talk and a bunch of jump up little englanders

Ian said...

Has it not occurred to Tenbury Futures that shoppers may visit the high street BEFORE they buy their frozen food in Tesco?

@WR15 said...

I certainly seen this happen a lot at Welshpool. Town first, Tesco 2nd.

Tenbury Futures said...

Anonymous we hardly think there's much credence in this 'majority for' line you're taking.. If that were the case then:

1. Why aren't the majority of comments on the MHDC planning portal 'for' it then? Instead we think you'll find that it's mainly a cross section of 100's of locals rejecting the idea again.

2. Why didn't any of these supposed majority 'for' the scheme speak up at the last planning committee when Tesco was rejected? If you were there then you'll recall that [bar 'pro' Clrs] the only people who spoke 'for' the devt were Tesco's highly-paid and besuited spin team - absolutely non [zero] local residents spoke up for the scheme. We suspect that someone will come back with talk of objectors being 'more driven' etc but the truth was that no locals spoke up for the plan then and the plan's pretty much the same again this time - they still want to demolish a heritage building with a protected bat population which sits in Tenbury's conservation area [although Tesco have added some climbing plants now to their plans].

3. As for chronology of events.. It was in the main a different set of residents who objected and helped have past supermarket plans rejected on the CM site. Things have moved on.. The majority makeup of the Tenbury Futures group came together during the first application by Tesco this time around. Most in the group are just concerned local residents old and young with a small compliment of highstreet businesses in there too.

4. As for development of the site, if MHDC respect the planning precedents they themselves set last time then it may well be rejected again. In terms of alternate funders, the PLAN B outline we proposed this summer has since attracted interest from both the Worcs LEADER fund and The Big Lottery Fund, the latter saw fit to include it as No. 1 in their list of inspiring communities in their "Village SOS: The Local" magazine. If the Tesco plan were rejected again then TF's would look to initiate a bid for funding to first run a LEADER-funded [or similar] feasibility study on the site in line with our our PLAN B outlines. Once this was undertaken we should have a clearer idea of both the possibilities, pitfalls and further funding opportunities. We'd then look to work with local organisations, people and Councils to best follow-up this plan step by step so that the site could best benefit a broad range of the community and help really enhance the vitality of the town [which putting a supermarket on the site clearly wont]. It's been achieved in similar communities with similar challenges..

Click our link above to read more on our blog..

Anonymous said...

I was thinking 'cloud' and 'cuckoo' and 'land' - but perhaps it's just rather late and I'm feeling unduly cynical . . . or have the fairies arrived?

Anonymous said...

tenbury futures
tenbury people are fed up with your utter nonsense
you are now nothing but a laughing stock
where are all your minutes from your meetings publish them because you have not got any TESCOS are coming so Tenbury FUTURES go and do something more constructed
ALL YOUR LIES have not done the town any good

Welsh Wizard said...

I have seen the disaster that has befallen our town centre after Tesco has arrived – in Welshpool, Powys, the new Tesco has a one way system which has ruined the ambiance of the town centre and made it a drive through on the way to other places, rather than maintaining the high street as a destination in itself

@WR15 said...

It is the responsibility of the developer to speak in favour of the development and objectors to speak/write against.

It's NOT X-Factor. It's not about the public voting.

There is NO requirement for people in favour to lodge their agreement in writing as part of the planning process.

Anonymous said...

And there is no requirements for objectors to lodge the objection. In fact, the planning process simply invites "comments" - with equal interest in "for" as in "against".
However, the comments have to relate to the plan and cannot relate to whether or not people want a Tesco, as that, in itself, is not relevant.

Bumblebee said...

Then it's just as well that the TF's objection letters spell out specific planning related concerns and objections to Tesco's plans then. Good to know that they're on the right lines. There seems to be quite a few of them.

Mr.Longbeard said...

TF'S, would you be so good as to take a look at the bridge blog a ways up the page please?

Richard Norman said...

I live in Herefordshire, not in Tenbury; so Ian, do you think that I have no right to comment?

Anonymous said...

Interesting letter on the MHDC site from Mr Hudson ,cannot believe how dangerous the proposed site lay out is .Is this why it keeps getting delayed?.

Anonymous said...

i see bumblebee has woken up again

Tenbury Futures said...

Sorry mr LB, could you be more specific? Not quite sure what you mean.

Rugby fan 72 said...

So the reasons for objecting to the development are based on "Planning issues" only. This is estblished....what a shame that TTC didn't debate in more detail the planning issues surrounding the proposed development for the CM - a starting point would have been to take the 4 reasons for objection last time item by item.... One of the town councillors has subsequently written to MHDC outlining his fears with regards traffic and the plan as submitted.

Maybe the swell in objections, which obviously have validity, have highlighted to the relevant authorities that the application is poor and more work needs to be done - if in deed the site can be made suitable with a store of the size proposed....i am not sure how this will help the ingress and egress though.

Ian said...

"I live in Herefordshire, not in Tenbury; so Ian, do you think that I have no right to comment?" . . . is that remark directed to me? I can't recall ever having written anything that justifies it!

Mr. Longbeard said...

"...Sorry mr LB, could you be more specific? Not quite sure what you mean..."

Do the name click game (no youtube links, promise) question posted for you without derailing this blog post

RichTea said...

Have you seen the letter just posted on the MHDC site from Andy Savage at Shropshire Highways ? At last they seem to have woken up to the fact that the A456/A4112 junction and associated congestion is a key factor. Given that the Traffic Assessment was pretty useless, based on a single set of assumptions and did not include any sensitivity analyses for worst/best case scenarios, at least he is proposing that a scheme must be properly evaluated and paid for as a condition of any planning approval. I would still like to see a proper analysis of the worst case scenario and the impact on the A456 junction and Teme Street. In my view, traffic lights will make it safer but are bound to reduce the throughput capacity of the junction/bridge and presumably the southernmost lights would be south of the bridge and possibly south of the Tesco junction.

Ian said...

The arrogance of some of the objectors beggars belief - one letter claims to represent the opinion of all the citizens of Tenbury Wells and the neighbouring areas! He didn't consult me about this!

Welsh Wizard said...

Ref:Welshpool one card shop already shut shop ,shoe shop due to close & most traders reporting between 50-30% loss in trade .Once a thriving highstreet .... not no more.
Llangollen is next on the list.

Anonymous said...

Welshpool is suffering after tesco opened here. Many shops in town are 30% or more down on takings since it started trading and the Spar is down 50% in takings. Poor Mike in the card shop just wasn't able to cope with the underctting by tesco and he's called it a day and has closed up for good. On top of this youve got serios additional traffic problems and the shops have not had many walking from tesco to them at all. We have seen few if any benefits.

Dont let this happen in your town.

Anonymous said...

Nationally shops are reporting those kind of figures due to the recession.

My turnover is down 60% and we have no Tesco.

@WR15 said...

I was in Welshpool today and I saw people parking in the Tesco car park and heading towards the town. Perhaps it only happens when I'm there.


Or perhaps WR15 your a liar?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the notification that the application above has been amended by the applicant.
I have reviewed these and believe the changes are no more than "Tinkering around the
The fundamental reasons for the application being originally rejected in Jan 2011 have not
been addressed: the proposed design does not significantly differ from the design submitted
under application 10/00561/FUL - and therefore this application should also be refused on
the same grounds.
Further to the original reasons for rejection the following remains to be fully considered.
The travel plan and transport assessment remain floored and are cause for great concern.
This will undoubtedly lead to grid lock in Teme St.
The car parking is woefully inadequate - at the admission of both WCC and SCC.
The potential for a vehicle/pedestrian conflict within the carpark and ingress/egress routes is
very high.
The potential for collisions between delivery vehicles and large 4x4 vehicles, which in a
farming community are extremey common, is considerable.
The application for a supermarket should again be rejected, as it has been on numerous
previous occasions: the site is simply not suitable.
of course he his tenbury futures

Anonymous said...

Bring on the Tesco's i want a job