Campaigning to curb supermarket power

Workington, Cumbria

The Save Our Cloffocks campaign fought a long and hard campaign to oppose Tesco plans to build a Tesco Extra, 92,900 sq ft store with 700 car parking spaces on the Cloffocks.

The Cloffocks is an area of local importance and residents believe historically belonged to the people of Workington for sports and recreation and should not be sold by the Council. However, following three years of negotiations over the application, it was approved by Allerdale Council's Development Panel in January 2008.

However, in 2010 local landowner, the Countess of Lonsdale, invoked her family's ancient rights to mine on the land in a move that could block the store plan. In March Tesco filed papers in the Chancery Division of the High Court responding to the Countess's assertions and asking that she and the council present their case to clarify the issue before a judge. Tesco still has to complete a Section 106 agreement as part of the process that requires it to invest in infrastructure before it can build a store. 

November 2005 -the Council first approved Tesco's plans but there were delays in negotiating the sale of the site by the Council to Tesco. The Council issued an ultimatum to Tesco that a deal be signed by 6th April 2006 or the land would be remarketed. Despite doubts about the deal, a deal was signed to sell the land to Tesco for £15 million. Following this local campaigners called for a referendum on the future of the site.

September 2006 - members of the Save our Cloffocks campaign, including a councillor, launched legal action against the council chief executive, claiming that the money from the sale of the land should be divided between residents of Workington, because of the belief that the land belongs to the community.

August 2007 - Tesco will pay Allerdale Council an estimated £18 million for the development land. It will also pay for two football pitches as an extra to compensate the community for the loss of amenity land. 

United Kingdom
54° 38' 54.2868" N, 3° 32' 35.1276" W
Cumbria GB

Campaign Updates
Workington, Cumbria

1 June 2011
Site not to be sold to Tesco

Allerdale Council agree to let agreement to sell to Tesco expire. This shock move that came after more than five years of negotiations, Councillors unanimously agreed during a private meeting that they would allow the agreement to sell the land to the supermarket chain to expire as the council was faced with many obstacles including an imminent application for village green status to be given to the site, being put together by the Save Our Cloffocks group, and a possible judicial review of the planning approval for the superstore.


12 February 2008
Government Office not calling-in application

Allerdale Council received written confirmation that the Government Office for the North West would not be calling-in the Tesco application.

15 January 2008
Tesco's planning application was approved by Allerdale Council's Development Panel.