Friday, 2 March 2012

Tenbury's Last Chance...

Dear Planning Committee Members,

You have a critically important decision to make on
7th March.

Just over a year ago, after a long and careful discussion, your committee refused permission for a large supermarket to be built on the cattle market site in Tenbury. You have now been asked to change that decision: please, please don’t. There have been no real changes to the application and the decision should be the same – a refusal. 

To do otherwise, would be inconsistent and unjustified. We are very lucky to have a diverse and vital high street in Tenbury; but make no mistake, it is very fragile and would not survive the effects of a large supermarket being built in the town.

• The current bridge closure, a minor event in comparison, has cost traders up to 50% of their turnover during the closure.

Your own local plan says that we need only 18 sq M of additional food retail space – the application is for nearly 80 times that amount – far more than all of the current food retail space in Tenbury

The Council for the Protection of Rural England has concluded that “it will have a strong adverse impact on the traders in the town and duplicate services offered”.

In these difficult times jobs are precious and any jobs lost are difficult, if not impossible, to replace.

The British Retail Planning Forum, which is financed by the supermarkets themselves,
has found that every time a large supermarket opens, on average, 276 jobs are lost.

• These figures suggest that if the development goes ahead we will lose about 100 jobs in Tenbury – that is a net loss of about 100 jobs.

The development will have a catastrophic effect on the conservation area and the historical setting.

• This committee thought so last year and refused permission

The council’s own Conservation Officer describes it as a “large, single span, semi-
industrial building” that will “certainly impact upon the Conservation Area”.

English Heritage recommend that permission be refused

The Council for British Archaeology is against the development
The Civic Society has said, a “supermarket of this size ……. cannot be made to fit visually in a historic setting, particularly as this proposal requires the demolition of an important historic building”

The Victorian Society is against the demolition of the Old Infirmary and so against the development

Your own planning officers say that it would be “regrettable” to demolish the RBB
building for this development – avoid those regrets and refuse permission, we will never be able to get it back

There are many other concerns...

• There are many, very real concerns about safety on the roads and pavements around the development – there has been an accident on the site in the last few weeks involving a car and a supermarket lorry

• A recent traffic survey has shown that more than 1,600 traffic movements already take place between 5pm and 7pm at this end of Teme Street

• The development does not provide anything like enough parking – the proposal is well below the national minimum standards

• There is not even room for a trolley to be placed behind a shopper's car whilst the
shopping is being loaded into the car’s boot without impeding the traffic on the proposed access road

• There is no answer to how the bridge, a scheduled ancient monument, will cope with the extra traffic (estimated at up to 2,000 crossings per day by cars and many more by large delivery lorries) – when it fails to cope, as it frequently must, Tenbury will be regularly gridlocked

Have no doubt about the strength of feeling in and around Tenbury. There have been many hundreds of written objections and only a handful of letters in support of this unnecessary and damaging development.
And finally...
Tesco has no interest in or understanding of Tenbury as a place in its own right, and, it would seem, has little respect for our local authorities.

Please refuse permission for this wholly unnecessary development that would do so much damage, in so many ways, to Tenbury. Make no mistake, the damage would be permanent.

The future vitality of the town's highstreet is in your hands. It is your decision.


  1. We'll moderate comments as and when we can over the next few days. If we can't publish your comment straight away then please bear with us..

  2. I cannot believe so many people have objected,let's hope the people at MHDC listen to the people of Tenbury.

  3. It's been building-up over a period of time but if you look on the MHDC planning website for the Tesco application then you'll get an idea..

    Many of these individual objections are from Tenbury and we believe that there are still some to add to that number that haven't yet been added.

    Interestingly, there's only a handful of 'pro' responses up there though.

  4. I can't believe that Tony Penn is chairing this planning committe. He simply isn't impartial on this issue. Doesn't he have links with the nearby Rose and Crown pub too and wouldn't they stand to gain extra business if a Tesco appeared?

  5. Given the amount of time that has lapsed since the initial proposal (dont remember the precise date) and now, some peoples' opinions might have changed sides. I feel it is prudent to have a further street survey of how people in the town feel.. Speaking personally I still feel Tesco is the wrong chain for Tenbury and if we ARE going to be invaded, a small Morrisons or Sainsburys is a better choice. Why have we no alternative plan for the site?

  6. The Tesco plan is just too big. Most would go for a compromise - a smaller budget supermarket such as Aldi while keeping and refurbing the old infirmary building has to be the best of all worlds.

  7. We think many locally would prefer a more mixed solution on the cattle market site. We also know there are developers who are thinking about that very possibility at this very moment. If the Tesco plan is thrown-out like it was on the last occasion then [with luck] these other proposals may come out of the woodwork to offer-up more blended alternatives instead of the single giant superstore that is the Tesco plan.