Why Tesco's Plan is Doomed Print
Supermarket Debate
Written by John Eager   
Thursday, 25 August 2011 12:28

Herefordshire Council's Retail Study (PPS4) is a revealing document that sheds light onto why Tesco's planning application to triple the size of its grocers store in a relocation to Leadon Way is doomed to failure.

Tesco plan to increase their retail area by 2,044 sq m does not fit in with the council's recent Retail Study which indicates that by 2026 only an extra 1,581 sq m (gross) of discount food/convenience retail space will be needed in Ledbury.

To put it simply Tesco's planned hypermarket is just too big for Ledbury, and even after 1,000 (adjusted to 800) extra dwellings are built in Ledbury by 2026, it would still be too big.



The Drivers Jones Deloitte PPS4 assessments make interesting reading and make some nice informed comments about Ledbury's almost unique retail experience:

Ledbury has a 'vibrant and strong centre' and is 'an attractive shopping environment' as 'much of Ledbury's character comes from its thriving independent retail provision'.

It is predicted that Ledbury will need extra retail space in the coming years, but nothing close to what the grocer's Tesco is planning. Tesco's best option for growth would be to extend its current store. It could build an underground car park and use its existing car park as retail space.

Over the years extra quality retail, non-food and comparison shopping could be further accomodated in Bye Street.

Such changes would then not affect Ledbury's historic centre. If Tesco, followed by Sainsbury's and other large national/international superstores move to Leadon Way then Ledbury would become decentred with its historic centre relocated.

This decentering should be resisted. Ledbury's centre has been there for over a thousand years; it is the heart and soul of the town, and should be protected just as Ledbury's historic buildings and burgage plots are.

The reasons above are more than sufficient for Herefordshire Council to reject Tesco's planning application. However, Tesco's secret meeting(s) with councilors should alert us to the very real possibility that deals are being done behind closed doors.

Council funded retail assessments, independent impact assessments, historical considerations, poster campaigns and common sense may not be enough to influence Herefordshire County Councilors.

When all things are revealed it is often money that speaks loudest - and Tesco has loads of that. How will Tesco sweeten a deal that threatens to rip the heart and soul out of Ledbury?

Lobby your councilors!

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 13:57
Comments (4)
Not out of date
4 Thursday, 15 September 2011 17:30
John Eager
By guide lines I guess you mean the free-for-all that's coming. That'll be interesting in the future. But this is now.

This document is not out of date; it is the most recent survey on Ledbury's retail shopping and needs; it is very relevant and it is one of the documents that will be influencing the planning officer.
Interesting Reading For 2006
3 Wednesday, 14 September 2011 19:22
A document using guide lines laid down in 2006, only 5 years out of date then (I have noticed the 2010 update), also this document does not take into account the influx of migrant workers Ledbury has every year and only forcast 1,000 houses to be built upto 2026, as you know there is already proposed plans for 800+ houses, I feel I can safely say there will be more than 200 built before 2026.
A vitally important document
2 Monday, 05 September 2011 16:41
Andrew Warmington
Strictly speaking this should be entitled 'Why Tesco's plan OUGHT TO BE doomed' but the sad fact is that grotesquely disproportionate plans like this can and do get waved through. The sheer scale of what they want to do, however, gives the lie to any notion that this sinister and predatory corporation is responding to a gap in the market and/or local demand. They could easily absorb all the growth in the market by expanding on their current site and the independent traders wouldn't much mind if they did. What Tesco wants to do is to corner the market. End of.
tesco's here we go
1 Sunday, 28 August 2011 09:21
martin alastair cooke
maybe tesco could be happy to have a smaller store in Ledbury - oops, they already have!!
yvComment v.1.22.0