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Tesco to decide on appeal after rejection

By Herald Express  |  Posted: June 29, 2012

STORE PLAN:   The site of the proposed Tesco store at Edginswell

STORE PLAN: The site of the proposed Tesco store at Edginswell

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TESCO is considering its next move after its plans to build a supermarket at Edginswell in Torquay were rejected by councillors.

The company's planning application was thrown out by Torbay Council and the store must decide if it wants to carry on the fight at appeal or walk away.

Meanwhile, the developer acting on behalf of the Hawkins Trust, which sold the land to Tesco, says the decision by the council means the business park might not develop to its full capacity for a number of years.

Tesco had promised to build three new offices as part of its scheme.

Richard May says businesses were lined up to take up space, but will probably now withdraw, with Exeter their most likely destination.

Mr May said: "I'm disappointed because we can't now build other offices at the business park. Tesco was going to help fund that and it certainly isn't fundable in any other way.

"I've got people who want to go in two of those buildings. One was from outside the area and another from inside in a priority sector the TDA wants to support.

"But Exeter has some very good offices which are very cheap just up the road.

"The Hawkins Trust will now sit and wait, but there won't be any obvious development in the near future."

The 12-acre site at Edginswell is currently home to a small number of companies, and is located in a prominent position close to where the new Kingskerswell bypass will end.

The foundation stones were laid in early 2009 and the first three-storey blocks completed in 2010.

But the economic downturn has made it difficult to attract companies and part of the site is still undeveloped.

Members of the council's development management committee voted unanimously against the planning application to make Tesco the main presence on site.

Despite Tesco offering to create 200 jobs councillors thought it was inappropriate for the 'gateway' site, and would take trade away from the town centre.

They rejected a change of use allowing a supermarket, saying it should be restricted to office development.

They said the Town Hall car park in Torquay was more suitable site for a supermarket.

Simon Petar, regional corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said a decision about an appeal will made by the company in the next few weeks.

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  • spindleshanks  |  July 05 2012, 5:35PM

    Presumably in Sainbury's or Morrisons currently - just a 10 minute drive from Brixham?

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  • reiwruwiou  |  July 05 2012, 4:00PM

    ...Assuming that the "footfall" actually leaves the confines of the Tesco building. As mentioned earlier - Park up, fill yer trolly, load the car, then off home before the frozen stuff defrosts.

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  • reiwruwiou  |  July 05 2012, 2:22PM

    My point, abcxyz, is that 2.3% opposition would be hard pushed to make an online poll look like 60% opposition. Even if they did, what would be the point - it doesn't carry any weight. I only quoted the poll because it was inferred that the anti Tesco lobby consisted of about 10 noisy NIMBIES - certainly not the impression I got when I attended the local council meeting on the subject. The issue is far too close to call, and certainly can't be flippantly dismissed as a handful of hippies spoiling it for the residents of Brixham.

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  • spindleshanks  |  July 05 2012, 2:08PM

    Think the only poll that counts is one where individuals vote with their wallets. Have you ever seen an empty Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrison, or dare I say it, Tesco? Quite - footfall in a town centre Tesco is, whether BRATS like it or not, footfall in the town itself. It is up to independent traders to take advantage of this additional footfall when it happens.

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  • abcxyz  |  July 05 2012, 1:53PM

    Yes, quite reiwruwiou, the online poll is meaningless. But that's not what you were saying 4 comments ago was it? And thanks for that explanation daveconol. I just knew those poll figures couldn't be correct but being a computer ignoramus I didn't realise how it was done or how apparently easy it is.

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  • reiwruwiou  |  July 05 2012, 12:49PM

    Sorry - calculator trouble. 500 of 22000 is 2.27%

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  • reiwruwiou  |  July 05 2012, 12:48PM

    Daveconol, so, you state that BRATS artificially inflate the "NO" vote by multiple voting, and to prove it you artifically inflated the "YES" vote... Are we to assume that people in the "YES" camp do not do the same? How many Tesco employees voted? Of course, this is a meaningless straw poll - we would need to take a proper vote on it (which I believe is something that BRATS have wanted all along.) I only quoted it to question the inference that only 500 people (out of a population of 22,000) were against the development (0.9%).

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  • daveconol  |  July 05 2012, 9:41AM

    reiwruwiou, one would have to be very naïve to give credence to the online poll which at present stands at 60% No to 40% Yes, which is where it has stood for some time. These polls work on the basis that you can (or rather should) only vote once. In order to do this a 'cookie' is placed on the computer you vote from which prevents you from voting again. It is not at all difficult to circumnavigate these cookies and so vote as many times as you like. Now, one might say that such a practice goes completely against the principles of the poll, the point of which is to calculate, honestly and openly, how the residents of Brixham feel about the proposed Tesco supermarket. I can tell you now that supporters of BRATS regularly vote repeatedly in this poll. How do I know? Well, on two occasions I have myself repeatedly voted Yes in order to see if there would be a response from the No camp (which, in the main, consists, obviously, of BRATS supporters) and on both occasions they did just that. The second time I did this was the day before yesterday, Tuesday 3rd July, when I voted a sufficient number of times to reduce the % from 60/40 to 59/41. Anybody keeping their eye on this poll would be able to confirm that this is what happened the day before yesterday at around 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm. Within a short time of me doing this the figures were back to 60/40. Now, I didn't keep tally of the number of times I had to click the Yes button but it must have been about 70 or 80, which meant that some person, or probably persons given the short time it took for the figures to get back to 60/40, then clicked the No button a similar amount of times. It would be stretching the imagination a little too far would it not to believe that 70 or 80 people just happened to vote No – for the first and only time remember – in that short space of time, particularly as the poll has been running for several months. One might ask why they don't keep on doing it then and get the figures up to 82/20 or 90/10. That would be a bit too obvious wouldn't it? They are not that silly are they? Devious yes, silly no. I did this in order to confirm my suspicions but what does it say about the BRATS people? All that self righteous nonsense about only wanting to do what the people of Brixham want and expressing a great desire to listen to their views. Well, their cover has been well and truly blown.

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  • reiwruwiou  |  July 04 2012, 3:34PM

    For the people of Edginswell, a message from Sheringham in Norfolk. "According to John Sweeney, North Norfolk District Council Leader, "they [Tesco] are too big and powerful for us. If we try and deny them they will appeal, and we cannot afford to fight a planning appeal and lose. If they got costs it would bankrupt us.""

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  • reiwruwiou  |  July 04 2012, 2:35PM

    Trev-Wright, I think that it is correct to say that opposition to the supermarket is divided between "No Supermarket" and "No Tesco". I don't see what your issue is with that. If we assume that you are correct and 75% of people who signed the BRATS petition were stupid enough to sign a petition for something that they didn't want, then it still leaves (as I recall) a substantially greater number against the Brixham Tesco than the Edginswell Tesco. Also, last time I looked the HE "straw poll" showed around 70% against Tesco. If you ran a big supermarket and were under pressure to drive up profits, and a little shop opened up around the corner and stole sections of your business would you just sit back and say "Ho, hum, thats the way it goes.."? You'd use your bulk purchasing power to slash prices and undercut the little guy. I seem to recall a price war between the supermarkets which saw baked beans being sold at 3p per tin. Great for the shopper, not so great if you are the little guy faced with this kind of power. As to councils, we all know the score - money talks, and a big company likes Tesco has plenty of it. If they come to Brixham why don't you set up shop against them, and see where you are in a year's time? Why build affordable housing? Because that was the agreement, which Tesco now seem to feel that they are not party to. As to parking, I can't really see people carrying their shopping bags all the way from town to Oxen Cove or Berry Head Road - if this were acceptable then Tesco wouldn't need to build a Car Park, as customers could just walk from their store to one of these parks. Enjoy Australia - perhaps they would like a new Tesco? Plenty of space for one...

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