Campaigning to curb supermarket power

Calow, Derbyshire

The Somerset House has been a pub in our village (Calow, Chesterfield) since approximately 1953.  Unfortunately Tesco have set their sights on it and are actively pursuing the necessary planning permissions to turn it into a Tesco Express.  We believe that the Brewery (Enterprise Inns) have entered into a contract with them.

Their first round of planning applications resulted in four being rejected and two being approved.  

There are currently three local businesses in Calow, a paper shop, a general store and a Londis and we believe that all three will be at risk.

The campaign group "Save our Somerset Action Group"  have a petition signed by circa 1,800 people which has been presented to the Council.

Chesterfield has been given the nickname "Tesco Town" as there are apparently 42 Tesco's/Tesco Express shops within a ten mile radius of the town!

The Derbyshire Times, our local newspaper, has been very supportive in publishing pictures, an article and several letters in support of the campaign to try and save the Somerset House in Calow.  We have also had a excellent response from our local MP, Dennis Skinner, who is passing our concerns on to relevant people and says he will update us of progress in due course. We wrote to Greg Mullholland in his capacity as the MP Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group.  Again we received a personal and very supportive response from him. 

United Kingdom
53° 14' 6.0828" N, 1° 22' 43.6224" W
Derbyshire GB

Campaign Updates
Calow, Derbyshire

8 January 2015
Tesco abandons plans

Message from Save Our Somerset Action Group: " Despite Tesco winning the final appeal to put all planning permissions in place we learned on New Years Eve that they have officially withdrawn their interest in the Somerset House Public House in Calow, Chesterfield.  In their letter to Dennis Skinner MP they cite the weight of public opinion against a local store as the reason for their decision.   We are extremely grateful to Dennis Skinner for taking up the case with Tesco and are obviously delighted with the outcome - an excellent New Year present !!"

1 October 2014
Tesco win appeal
3 February 2014
Tesco launch appeal

Despite the resounding defeat at the North East Derbyshire County Council planning meeting on the 19th November Tesco seem determined to plough ahead with a development that is neither needed nor wanted in Calow. The abandonment of the application to build an extension to the pub and appeal solely against the refusal of the signage is a smart but cynical tactical move by Tesco.  However it does not alter the fact that opening a store at this location will attract a lot more turning traffic and, as the Councillors have already stated on two previous occasions, constitutes an unacceptable public safety risk.

23 November 2013
Plans rejected

North East Derbyshire District council’s planning committee voted against Tesco's second attempt to get planning permission for  proposals for an extension and signage, at Somerset House pub.

19 November 2013
Plans refused

North East Derbyshire Planning Committee voted unanimously (well  with 1 abstention !) to turn down Tesco's application for an extension to our local pub, the Somerset House, for the second time.  They also voted to turn down Tesco's application for new signage, again for the second time. These were refused on the grounds of impact on the highway and not being sympathetic to the character of the existing building.

18 October 2013
Tesco submits new plans