Campaigning to curb supermarket power

Edinburgh, Portobello


Campaigners successfully blocked an 85.000sq.ft. superstore development in the historic area of Portobello, Edinburgh. Although the end user was never revealed, local campaigners suspected it was an application from Tesco. The application rejection was met with dancing in the streets and an impromtu ceilidh.

Reasons for the decision included:                  
• The increased traffic from the superstore would not improve the shopping environment;          
• The development is inappropriate in scale and character nor well integrated with Portobello;
• The demands for heavy access by car would create congestion, pollution and parking problems

Top tips

  • Try to appeal to broad a spectrum of supporters. Don't assume that certain groups will not be interested in your campaign. We had every age group from eight weeks to eighty years old at our public meetings.
  • Inform supporters regularly through as many channels as possible, e.g. e-mail, newsletters, leaflets in shops, libraries, pubs, etc or delivered through doors. press releases, web sites, public meetings, demonstrations.
  • Use planning arguments (employ consultants, independent of local authorities if necessary) and don't just rely on emotion.
  • The need to be organised and persistant
  • Organise a wide programme of enjoyable fundraising activities. Use events to help keep the campaign momentum by getting people together, especially during fallow periods. The Portobello campaign included Ceilidhs, a Burns Night Supper, coffee mornings and a film-themed calendar of local traders raised £6,000!


United Kingdom
55° 57' 10.5696" N, 3° 7' 24.78" W
Edinburgh GB

Campaign Updates
Edinburgh, Portobello

23 March 2013