Campaigning to curb supermarket power

Beeston, Nottinghamshire

In the town of Beeston, on the outskirts of Nottingham, the local Broxtowe Green Party ran a campaign "Say No to Tesco" to oppose Tesco’s application in October 2008 for an extension to the planned store it gained consent to build in 2004. The application was for a superstore of 9185msq, an increase of 3785msq and 440 car parking spaces. Over the past few years the site has gradually become more derelict and is now a local eyesore, causing consternation amongst local councillors, residents and businesses.  The clearance of the site involved the demolition of several good quality and historic buildings including houses, the employment centre, the youth centre, a pub and the Beeston Old Boys Association. Despite the opposition - the council received more than 560 objections to the plan, including a petition signed by 1,380 people.. Building work on the new store commenced in February 2010.

An independent planning consultation commissioned by the Green Party has concluded that Beeston does not have the capacity for such an increase in floorspace and that local traders will suffer.  Nottinghamshire County Council’s traffic engineers have stated that the road network will be operating overcapacity if the bigger store is built, confirming the fears of local residents that traffic congestion will considerably worsen. The campaign involved local businesses by offering them petitions and letters of objection for their customers to sign.  A campaign blog acted as a source of information and street stalls have been held in the town centre.

A couple of months into the campaign around 900 signatures had been collected on the petition and the council has received 250 letters of objection.  The application, which was to go before the Development Control Committee in January 2009, has was deferred due to the outstanding issue of traffic. 

Local Liberal Democrat councillors have openly objected to the plans in a letter in the local press.  The local Labour MP hosted a public meeting to give residents the opportunity to put their views to members of the Development Control Committee.  The meeting was attended by 200 people who openly expressed their anger and fears over the new plans.  Issues of traffic gridlock and potential loss of local shops were raised as well as fears for the loss of community and character of the town.  A traffic engineer from Loughborough University concluded that despite strategies for reducing congestion the new store would inevitably bring considerable worsening of the traffic problem.  A unanimous show of hands supported the site remaining derelict over the next 10 years if it meant Tesco would not build!

Nottinghamshire
United Kingdom
52° 55' 19.7436" N, 1° 12' 35.5284" W
Nottinghamshire GB

Campaign Updates
Beeston, Nottinghamshire

11 June 2009
Councillors approve plans

Planning officers recommended approval