Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Repel Boarders

With Sainsbury's, now temporarily retired to lick its wounds after the Council's refusal to support its plans to build a supermarket on the Canterbury Road in Westgate, next-door to the Ursuline College, it looks as if residents and traders in the town also plan a campaign to repel plans for a Tesco Metro in Station Road.

Seaplane at Pav's Cafe
Just to recap, this is an application for the erection of a two storey retail unit at the Former Goods Yard, Station Road, registered under application number F/TH/12/0769.

I was asked to call the application in to the Planning Committee this month. Local traders have been busy, working-up a petition, which was delivered to Thanet District Council yesterday and which in total, included 466 letters, whilst the petition has around 2,000 signatories. The planning officer informs me: "These have not, however, been counted and the numbers cannot therefore be verified."

I'm aware, from the regular Residents' Association meetings, that there's a wider range of different opinions surrounding whether we should or should not have a Tesco Metro in the town. Even Sir Roger Gale, our Thanet North MP, emailed me from the Ukraine today, asking for a conversation on the subject, as he has also been lobbied on the subject, receiving letters and emails from local people.

Clearly, local traders and as many as 2,000 signatories wish to challenge the development for the land opposite Beano's cafe but I would like to invite readers to have their say here about the project and whether they think that it's a good idea to put the Co-Op under pressure or as I've warned, it may set a precedent for development in Westgate's already embattled conservation area.

When it comes before the Planning Committee, for decision, most likely in December, as the ward councillor requested to represent the objectors, I need to make a short speech which will neatly summarise, why we should not have a Tesco in our town. Obviously, parking is a significant issue and a potential objection from Kent County Council, as I see absolutely no space for delivery lorries to park-up and we've seen already, the often dangerous parking chaos, caused over at Westbrook, through the recent arrival of the Tesco Metro there.

So, is this a step forward for the town or do you object to the building of a Tesco Metro in Westgate and if not, please let me know why. Much like Sainsbury's, any objections have to be valid in planning law because personal opinion on the company or competition carries no weight.

I've also added the poster for next month's neighbourhood engagement meeting with the police, opposite, for those who might wish to come.


Anonymous said...

What a surprise... NOT!

More shocking is this (as we're supposed to be encouraging small independent traders) can you confirm whether it's true?

Simon Moores said...

I've heard absolutely nothing about this so can't confirm or deny it.

Mind you, these days and with the present incumbents running the show, I'm increasingly finding things out from the public or via my weblog as the 'Bananas' parody of local government under Labour + TIG further below is rather closer to the truth than the public might think!

Anonymous said...

A definite NO to Tesco in Westgate. The balance of shops currently seems pretty good, with the Co-op complementing the small local traders perfectly. Tesco woud, I fear, send many of these businesses to the wall, resulting in less rather than more choice.

Anonymous said...

Other businesses would only go to the wall if people choose to shop in Tesco... shouldn't WE be allowed to decide by voting with our wallets?

Anonymous said...

NO to Tesco! We have a wonderful vibrant village with plenty of choice in the shops, no boarded up properties - introduction of Tescos would increase unemployment by closing local shops, reduce choice and leave Station Road looking like Margate High Street (without Mary Portas!) The decision is a no brainier!

Anonymous said...

Tesco hasn't closed any businesses in Westbrook, and if anything most other stores there are reporting an upturn in trade (go and ask in the ex-post office opposite!).

Anonymous said...

It's a truly awful building, out of all scale and character. Coloured modern bricks, a canopy (on the sunless south side?)some giant windows and arches (awful rear elev)shove a silly parapet on top and it's supposed to blend into a conservation area somewhere there's not been a building before? No,it doesn't "match". Horrified that Thanet's planning officer should think the outline could be OK. It's not so much opposite Beano's as opposite Jacksons Stables and loses the whole history of the streetscene. I like the scrubby trees - they're better than no greenery.
It takes away parking spaces and says it won't increase traffic? It predicts 449 people arr/dep movements between 5-6pm and only 31 by car?!! (87% foot, 10%public transpt). People dive in and out of Tescos and its ATMs. A delivery van there 1hr everyday,plus buses & other deliveries & the urgent metro-by-car shoppers who dont know they're only supposed to be 2% of custom?
Busy shopping on both sides of road would make pedestrian movements become unpredictable.
It'd pull Westgate shopping to the eastern, residential, end and badly affect the west and St Mildreds, & the vibrancy of existing Station Rd, which can do without being Tesco'd.

Anonymous said...

If the existing local shops are so wonderful they have nothing to fear from Tesco. Of course, the reason traders are worried is because they know people are going to vote with their feet and shop in Tesco in droves. That's capitalism, folks.

Anonymous said...

sorry, trawling through, no longer coloured bricks but light brown brickwork with stone decorative features to 'echo' and 'enhance architectural charm' of proposed Tesco. All very odd and out of proportion, upstairs windows 'mimic' (well,try) but below 'more modern detailing like enlaraged shop-front windows'.Very long imposing front for its shallow depth, compared to original 4 small units planned to add more variety. Plan doesnt seem to include Tesco signage.

Anonymous said...

Yes to Tesco. It is about time someone challenged the monopoly the Co-Op has here and in Birchinton. In Aldi's last Monday, met someone who works for the Co-Op (not saying which one or where) but when I asked them why they shopped at Aldi's rather than where they worked, they said they couldn't afford their employers prices ! Have a heart for the many OAP's struggling and give them a choice in where they can shop reasonably.

Anonymous said...

I think it's generally a good thing. We shop at a supermarket most weeks but buy our meat, milk, bread, fruit, veg and cards locally as much as we can. We only use Co-op in an emergency and would go to Tesco instead of Co-op becuase it will surely be cheaper.

Given the choice of the out-of-town Sainsbury's or a Tesco in Westgate itself, Tesco is the better option and will hopefully bring people into, rather than attracting them out of, the town.

Having said all that though, how they will make deliveries without blocking the road I've no idea. Co-op lorries block Adrian Square regularly and the crivers don't seem to care!