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Chance to run rule over Brixham's new design for £20m Tesco supermarket

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 16, 2012

new look:   The new design of the proposed Brixham central car park development including 11 town houses, a large Tesco and a multistorey car park

new look: The new design of the proposed Brixham central car park development including 11 town houses, a large Tesco and a multistorey car park

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THIS is how the new £20million Tesco supermarket planned for Brixham could look.

Developer Albourne Properties and Tesco want to build a mixed-use scheme on what is currently the central car park at the heart of the fishing port.

The proposals have split opinion in the town.

Following a public exhibition last December, the developers went back to the drawing board to improve the scheme's much criticised original design.

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Richard Batham-Read, development director with Albourne Property, said: "The scheme design has changed significantly following extensive consultations with council officers and comments arising from the Design Review Panel.

"We went back to the drawing board in terms of the elevation treatment.

"The scheme is much more pleasing to the eye. There is now a break up in the elevation. There is a greater mix of material and we have tried to minimise the visual impact from a distance."

Mr Batham-Read said the entrance to the store had been completely reworked to create greater connectivity with the rest of the town and Fore Street in particular.

He said the public area at the front of the store would link well with Bank Lane then wrap round to Brewery Lane and into Fore Street.

He added: "There is a much improved entrance area. We have reconfigured the service yard where the bus stop is and created a single entrance and exit point so it does not conflict with pedestrians."

The scheme still includes a multi-level car park, supermarket, small unit shops, 11 town houses, three flats, a Shopmobility unit and public space.

The original plan included 300 car parking spaces and 32,000sq ft of retail space.

Opponents of the scheme claim it will turn Brixham into a cloned town and kill off independent shops.

Supporters believe it will create extra car parking spaces for the town, create 120 jobs and keep shoppers in the town.

The new designs were presented to Torbay Council's independent Design Review Panel and subsequently to an audience comprising members of Brixham Town Council, Brixham Employment and Regeneration Advisory Group and Brixham 21.

A presentation of the new design is being organised in Meeting Room One in the Town Hall today, tomorrow and Saturday and Monday.

Exhibition boards will be on display between 2pm and 5pm.

During Monday evening the developers will present the scheme to an audience comprising the Chamber of Trade, the Brixham Residents Against a Tesco Superstore group, the Town Council, BERAG, Brixham 21, the Neighbourhood Forum and Torbay Council. This is by invitation only.

Mr Batham-Read said he hoped to file a planning application with Torbay Council before Christmas.

If successful, work could start next spring and could last between 18 and 24 months.

Torbay Development Agency chief executive Steve Parrock confirmed the new plans have been presented to the Torbay Design Review Panel.

He said: "I think it is fair to say the original design was underwhelming. This new design is much-improved and I am sure when it is put to the public there will be a different perception of the development.

"There will always be those who say they don't want a supermarket in the town centre and I suspect that is a debate which will rage.

"But in terms of the design I am more confident it will pass the test."

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  • mig46  |  December 05 2012, 7:20PM

    When will a answer regarding the new plans discussed, it seems to have been going on forever!!

  • iseveryidused  |  November 28 2012, 3:52PM

    "Callous indifference" was a little harsh? I could argue that you have an irrational dislike of a successful retailer. To save re-typing what has already been said, I have pasted our previous comments in a thread: I said: I haven't been to Brixham for a long time, are there any "independents" left? Who will Tesco be competing with? You said: are you saying that there are no independent retailers in Brixham? If you are, then you have either never been to Brixham or feel a callous indifference to those who trade there. If you had visited Brixham recently you would see that a number of new shops have opened up there. I said: There will always be niche gaps in the market which would benefit from additional foot traffic, if anyone is entrepreneurial enough to take advantage. It's not the fault of Tesco if no-one actually does You said: The problem is that Tesco provide goods and services across an extremely broad range, so any future businesses starting up in Brixham will either have to go up against them or provide a service that they do not, which narrows the field somewhat.

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  • reiwruwiou  |  November 28 2012, 1:37PM

    Isever***used, are you saying that there are no independent retailers in Brixham? If you are, then you have either never been to Brixham or feel a callous indifference to those who trade there. If you had visited Brixham recently you would see that a number of new shops have opened up there. The problem is that Tesco provide goods and services across an extremely broad range, so any future businesses starting up in Brixham will either have to go up against them or provide a service that they do not, which narrows the field somewhat. Brixham could end up with a mass of art galleries, tourist shops and restaurants (Tesco has, for now, agreed not to provide in store dining, but that could easily change in the future..) Some would think an array of art galleries to be a wonderful thing, but it hardly makes a balanced economy. If anything were to happen to the major retail chain in the future (as its profits are currently falling and staff are being laid off) then we would be well and truly up the creek, with a town consisting solely of coffee shops and designer outlets. Of course Tesco will have a head start, as most of the competition will have been crippled by 18 months of reduced footfall due to there being no town parking. "Focus your energy on something more constructive, like insisting on Tesco funding a local community bus and a park and ride. Which is for ALL shoppers." Good luck with that. Tesco think little of trampling over council planning departments, so they aren't going to listen to a pointless town council, a self-promoting "development agency" (Brixham 21) or a two bit UA. "Insist" to the hand, 'cause the face ain't listening...

  • iseveryidused  |  November 28 2012, 12:01PM

    reiwruwiou, But you didn't answer my question - which independent retailers are you trying to protect? And you answer your own question with regards opening up a new business in Brixham, no-one else wants too! It's no good turning away the only potential for investment because you live in a by-gone era. An independent retailer wont have the resources (or willing) to be able to rejuvenate things like the awful multi-storey car park. Focus your energy on something more constructive, like insisting on Tesco funding a local community bus and a park and ride. Which is for ALL shoppers. And, to use your analogy, would you cull all sharks because they eat all the fishy wishy's? Well, here's the thing, the pool is stagnating and no-one is fishing. There will always be niche gaps in the market which would benefit from additional foot traffic, if anyone is entrepreneurial enough to take advantage. It's not the fault of Tesco if no-one actually does.

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  • Squirreleater  |  November 28 2012, 11:11AM

    I viewed the display in the passage of the town hall and was happy with what I saw, I left a comment in favour of the project. I too saw a lady from BRATS that asked if I would like some details of their campaign, I said no thanks and the lady left me alone, no problems there. As for the "tall man" hovering/intimidating people, what is wrong with you lot ignore him and leave your comments, I have seen and heard this obnoxious person in Fore st campaigning for BRATS and as far as I am concerned the more he is against Tesco the more that people will be for Tesco, so keep it up "tall man" whoever you are and wherever you may be from. Strange that I (a Brixham born and bred resident of nearly 60yrs) have NEVER encountered said person before. WHERE does he reside?

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  • reiwruwiou  |  November 28 2012, 9:59AM

    Lloydus, Fine in theory, but one big problem - the town centre car park will be closed for 18 months while they build the place. This means that shoppers will have to either park in the Breakwater car park, Oxen Cove (both of which are a fair trek with heavy shopping bags) or use the park and ride (which will mean that resident have to drive outside Brixham to park and get a bus back in.) Hardly good for the existing businesses. PJBrixham, both Aldi and Lidl are reporting massive profits and are expanding rapidly, attracting not only "budget" shoppers but also those from higher salary brackets. Check the newspapers. Tesco, on the other hand, are seeing thier profits slashed and are actually reducing staffing levels in a number of stores. Isever***used, is introducing a large shark into a pool of small fish pro or anti-competitive? It could be argued both ways. Tesco do supply a broad range of products and services, which begs the question - if you wanted to set up business in Brixham, what would you supply, bearing in mind that Tesco (who would own the prime site next to the car park and incentives to shop with them, i.e. free parking for customers) could undercut you?

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  • iseveryidused  |  November 28 2012, 12:43AM

    I haven't been to Brixham for a long time, are there any "independents" left? Who will Tesco be competing with? If no-one, or only a few, then surely preventing an alternative, is anti-competitive? Which is a monopoly in my opinion. I think we should use the opportunity to ensure the town gets maximum bang for its buck out of any new development, improving infrastructure to benefit the community.

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  • pjbrixham  |  November 27 2012, 10:15PM

    Tesco is not the first. Waitrose, Plymco, Summerfield and Asda all had designs drawn up with Waitrose being the preferred company and all pulled out for various reasons. That was back in 2004! No other retail chain has shown an interest in all that time apart from Tesco. I don't know all of the reasons for those companies pulling out and for no other company showing an interest since but the fact that it is a very difficult site to develop no doubt had a lot to do with it. Supermarket chains understandably want easy sites to develop so full credit has to be given to Tesco as the only one to have a go at it and stick with it, and at a considerable cost I would think. I can't imagine the likes of Aldi or Lidl taking on such a tricky site and to quite honest who would want them. The last time I went to one of these places I wasted my time looking round a store with desperately little choice in it and came out after about half an hour with two tins of sardines. Great! Will Tesco be competitive? Bit of a no brainer really. Of course they'll be competitive; if they're not people will do what they do now: Drive to Sainsburys and Morrrisons.

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  • jenny12  |  November 27 2012, 5:47PM

    I also had the unpleasant experience of being that small exhibition area with those three BRATS people. I don't know who they were, there was two women, one English, one with a foreign accent and a tall man. I found their presence totally unacceptable and I did what I imagine a lot of other people did, I had a quick look and left without leaving a comment as I had wanted to. It doesn't appear though that BRATS intimidatory presence has made much impression as I see that most of the comments are in favour of the development.

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  • Lloydus  |  November 27 2012, 4:51PM

    Looks good. If a Tescos kills local traders, you only have yourselves (the residents) to blame for switching where you shop anyways. No one is making anyone shop there if it opens. If people do flock to Tescos (the masses) it obviously shows what people really want, compared to the people who protested (the few). If no one wants a Tescos in Brixham, no one will shop there, independant traders will continue to thrive and Tescos will shut down. So, if what you're all preaching is true - what have you got to worry about?

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