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Tesco assurance over Brixham store

By Herald Express  |  Posted: April 27, 2012

  • PROTESTORS: BRATS say they will fight on

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SUPERMARKET giant Tesco insists it remains committed to building a store in Brixham town centre.

The company's announcement, confirmed by scheme co-developers Albourne Property, comes after Britain's leading supermarket chain announced investment plans for new property were changing in the light of its trading results.

Tesco announced a 'reduced new store opening programme in the UK for 2013'.

However, plans for a Brixham store are not part of the reduced opening programme.

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Richard Batham-Read, development director with Albourne Property, said his firm and Tesco were 'very much committed to coming to Brixham'.

He said: "Brixham is a town where they are very much committed to invest in. We have an agreement with Tesco and Torbay Council. Neither Tesco nor us intent to pull out of Brixham."

The supermarket giant is hoping to build a 32,000 sq ft store, 10 town houses and 7,000 sq ft of apartment space, 350 parking spaces.

Mr Batham-Read said the company was working on a revised scheme with a much improved design, some more residential units and a public realm area outside the store which will be better integrated with the rest of the town.

He said Albourne and Tesco had recent meetings with Torbay Council and would meet planning department officials again soon.

He added: "We hope to be in a position to put a planning application in within the next three months, probably at the beginning of summer.

"It will be a much enhanced scheme which will cost more to build.

"The scheme is separate from the outcome on the Edginswell scheme.

"They see Brixham as an island where they don't have much representation but it has a very different catchment area from Torquay."

Sue Dawes, a member of the Brixham Residents Against a Tesco Superstore, said the fight against the proposed store was still very much on.

She said: "We won't stop until we have a decision from Torbay Council that Tesco is not coming. We will fight for however long it takes."

Since a parish poll was called and cancelled following representation by members of the public that the decision was open to a legal challenge, BRATS has received letters and ideas from the community for an alternative proposal.

Mrs Dawes, who addressed a recent town council meeting asking for everyone in the port to work together, added: "There are so many people in Brixham with alternative ideas for the site.

"That's what the visioning events we're planning are all about. We want to give Torbay Council other options.

"We will continue to campaign against Tesco because we don't feel that it is right for this lovely harbour town."

Meanwhile, traders in Torquay have warned any superstore on the edge of the town could further damage the town centres.

Torbay Town Centres Company is among 100 objectors to the proposals for a multimillion-pound supermarket which Tesco says will create 240 jobs at Edginswell.

In its objection, the town centres company cites the employment designation of the Edginswell Business Park, challenges the need for the supermarket when there is already significant provision within the local area primarily by Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer, Lidl and Asda.

It states: "The proposed Tesco development taken cumulatively with this current provision will have a serious and detrimental impact on the town centres."

The objection says that current Government policy is to ensure the vitality of town centres and the need to consider investment in town centres first before further edge of centre locations and only if suitable sites are not available should out of town locations be considered.

This national approach has also been reflected locally in the Torbay Local Plan which supports the principle of town centre development, says the company.

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  • Cantlos  |  May 20 2012, 12:32PM

    Brixham is the wrong place for a Tesco store. A small fishing port is no place for such a store. Apart from removing a lot of parking spaces and clogging up the roads with out-of-towners - the local shops will suffer as I would suspect Tesco of doing the usual supermarket thing of free short term parking for the store which leaves almost no time to visit the other shops." If Torbay council are so keen on this development - let them have it in Torquay town center where it would be 'more' appropriate.

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  • Draystone  |  May 03 2012, 7:58PM

    Having read your latest offerings Reiwruwiou I think we can finally agree on something - you are definitely touched.

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  • reiwruwiou  |  May 03 2012, 11:32AM

    Hey, I've just had a great idea! Why don't we have a vote about it? Oh, no, I forgot. Whenever we do someone threatens a judicial review, while others threaten to ignore anything other than a "yes" vote. Far cheaper to just push ahead anyway, and brand any dissenters as pinko, lefty, communist hippy buddhists who are obviously "outsiders", regardless of how long they have actually lived here. Perhaps we could even shout at them a bit.

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  • reiwruwiou  |  May 03 2012, 11:04AM

    Draystone, I am touched that you have researched my opinions to such an extent. I am interested to hear what other investment would come into Brixham as a result of Tesco being there - certainly not retail. The man from Tesco stated that he thought of Brixham as being like an island - probably not a lot of room (or space for that matter) for other new retailers. If you are talking about unconnected trades (e.g. electronics) then I fail to see why they would move to this area because there is a Tesco. Would tourists come to see our new Tesco? We may get an influx of seasonal restaurants and gift shops, but will that make a balanced stable economy? Incidentally, the reason that the grocers in Brixham are still here is because they do not have a large Tesco drawing all the punters (remember, the car park will be above Tesco) in and undercutting them. Remember, the supermarkets currently in Brixham are small to medium - the new shop will be BIG. Also remember that the central car park in Brixham will be closed for nearly two years while this thing is built - hardly helpful for local businesses currently in the town. As for other supermarkets.. I understand that a previous application by another supermarket was rejected as it was considered "too big" for the town - so why are we getting an even bigger Tesco?

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  • tracytopham  |  May 02 2012, 11:19PM

    You're right Treleaven1, BRATS objection to the town centre development has nothing to do with the reasons they give on their handout which are quite, well, preposterous really. The real reason might have something to do with the fact that of the founder members of BRATS one is the executive director of Gaia House which is a Buddhist centre in Newton Abbot, another is head of economics at Schumacher College which sounds quite impressive until you realise that this person's title is actually head of NEW economics and that Schumacher College is an alternative college which has courses in subjects such as 'Collapsonomics', 'What's the Point of School', 'Harmony', 'Earth Pilgrim', another is high up in the Torbay Green Party, (most of the founder members are Greens by the way) another always signs e-mails with this rider: 'It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the environment in which we live' which is included in all e-mails whatever the subject! Another two are members of Brixham for Global Action. You get the picture of where these BRATS founder members are coming from. I won't give their names but they can easily be looked up online, they regularly write to the Herald Express and attend council meeting. They are, of course, are perfectly entitled to spent their time on such matters and indeed some of their beliefs are honourable I'm sure but it doesn't take much to see that their motive for not wanting a supermarket in Brixham have precious little to do with the future of Brixham but everything to do with the beliefs, philosophies and ideologies of their various religious beliefs and political leanings.

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  • Ghostdogs  |  May 02 2012, 8:01PM

    Moan moan moan....

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  • Draystone  |  May 02 2012, 7:11PM

    Reiwruwiou, Firstly, your obsession with Tesco being some sort of anti-Christ is tired, boring and wholly unconvincing. You said in February that you would be "happy for any other supermarket to come to the bay". I am assuming that in order for these other supermarkets to conform to your strict moral code they would need to make sure that they don't stock anything that can be brought anywhere else in the town! Secondly, yes, other investment will come to Brixham as a result of Tesco's involvement. I have given up trying to explain that this investment does not just include other shops but as you raised the subject of grocers; we already have two very good independent ones in the town despite there already being three medium sized supermarkets selling similar produce. Your inference that Brixham would not be able to sustain more than one of anything is frankly laughable - You do realise that we have a population in the region of 20,000? Thirdly, it was YOU that made the connection between Tesco opening hours, the selling of 'cheap booze' and people hanging around causing trouble (you might like to read the end of your last comment). As Doreen has succinctly summed up your position (thank you Doreen) there is nothing else for me to do here except wish you and the rest of the BRATS every failure with your ill-judged campaign and sincerely hope it does no lasting damage to Brixham's future.

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  • abcxyz  |  May 02 2012, 5:57PM

    This person reiwruwiou appears to be totally incapable of any logical thought let alone lateral thought and is seemingly capable of thinking only at the shallowest of levels. Doreen Smith, Belmont Road, Brixham

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  • reiwruwiou  |  May 02 2012, 1:22PM

    Draystone, I think that the "hysteria" may be coming from you. Firstly, putting a large, famously self-serving organisation in a position of power at the heart of a major regeneration is just asking for trouble. Tesco would pretty much have carte blanche to do what they liked and nobody would be able to stop them. And they are just the sort of company to do just that. Notice how the "low cost housing" has already been dropped from the plans, even at this early stage. Secondly, do you really think that major businesses would come to Brixham just because Tesco was here? Where would they go, now that a huge chunk of the town centre has been given over to Tesco? (Unless, of course, they went into one of the numerous empty shops that would spring up once Tesco got in.) They would only come if they produced a service that Tesco didn't, and Tesco's range of products and services expands as each hour goes by - most companies would take one look at Brixham and regard it as "sewn up" by Tesco, who would have by far the largest single retail outlet in the town. Would you open a greengrocer's shop in a small town served by a large Tesco? Thirdly, I personally think that the whole "Yob" situation is a bit irrelevant - shops or no shops, job or no jobs, there will always be people who choose to hang around. Having a Tesco there won't change this, so for some to infer that it would is unrealistic.

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  • Draystone  |  May 01 2012, 7:43PM

    Reiwruwiou, you need to wake up and read the comment rather than falling over yourself in the haste to trot out your latest in a long line of anti Tesco rants - not sure which as been your most hysterical comparison so far: Ronnie Biggs Looking after the crown jewels or Harold Shipman and his machine gun. You must be gutted that Black Adder has already used the line about putting your john thomas in the hands of a lunatic with a pair of scissors. What I actually said was that we cannot force people to respect others or contribute anything of value to society but it is essential that the opportunities are there if they want to take them. I did not say that Tesco is the panacea for this but their substantial outlay in the town will make other investors sit up and take notice and I am not just talking about other retail outlets. 30 years ago I was one of those yobs hanging around and causing trouble, thankfully you were not my careers adviser then otherwise I would not be running my own business now, and before you jump to your next conclusion, no, I do not condone anti-social behaviour and no, I do not have any vested interest in Tesco. I will confess to a secret desire to be able to get everything I need in Brixham though without having to drive to one of the larger supermarkets and I would like to be able to do this within the next 10 years.

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