In April 2009 Tesco was granted an alcohol license for its new shop in Wanstead High Street, on the site of the former Woolworths store.
Local residents and traders launched a campaign and handed in a petition which had been signed by 1,440 people. Campaigners had hoped the council would deny Tesco the right to sell booze, claiming the shop would damage trade for independent businesses and encourage binge drinking if it was given a license. But the council's licensing sub-committee agreed that the shop will be allowed to sell alcohol seven days a week between 8am to 11pm. The chain originally wanted to sell alcohol at 6am, but otherwise all of its initial demands were met by Councillors.
Campaigners against the store won a temporary reprieve when the council turned down an application to create a loading bay directly in front of it. But Tesco claimed this problem would be resolved by making deliveries via Grosvenor Road instead - clearing the way for work to finally begin on the new store.