A minor victory this evening, as democracy almost broke out in Brentwood.
I spent my 2nd wedding anniversary sitting in Brentwood’s council chamber speaking on behalf of the many people who’ve supported this site in the past few months.
As a result, Tesco WON’T be able to have a cash machine open 24hrs a day attracting traffic to park on Warley Hill.
Sadly thanks to this country’s poor planning laws, the huge superstore will open, complete with inappropriate signage and lighting – though it’s likely there now won’t be a need for bollards – as we’ve diminished the risk of ram raids on Warley Hill.
RAM RAIDS?! Yes, the Tesco rep did suggest Ram Raids would be an issue! Well, that’s a relief.
Oddly there was a ‘supporter’ of Tesco. The character who posted here for a while as ‘Franki’, and as ‘SimonChristoph1’ and ‘welcome warley tesco’ on twitter, spent half of the meeting heckling / abusing Councillors, and making apparently irrelevant comments, before leaving part way through the meeting. With friends like that, I suspect Tesco won’t require any enemies.
Most disappointing of all, two local Councillors on the planning committee who expressed their dissatisfaction with the development were ‘unable’ to attend. As the votes were on an 8/7 majority, their presence would undoubtedly have made a difference.
So – people of Warley and Brentwood, next time your local Tories come knocking on the door after you’ve battled through a traffic jam on Warley Hill, remember they sat back and watched while Tesco ran roughshod over our community. No attempt was made to tone down the signage, or reduce the impact of the new doors.
If only party politics didn’t run Brentwood borough.
I wonder if Tesco are generous donors to the Conservative Central Office? [see below]
Thanks to everyone who supported this site over the past few months, to the councillors who did come and vote on the side of common sense tonight. It’s unlikely there will be many more posts – but we will focus on supporting our local businesses, trying to ensure a SUSTAINABLE future for Warley, and preservation of what remains of its semi-rural character.
[EDIT – I’ve just found this – http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/6272 – explains quite clearly why we’ll never know how much Tesco give to the Tories. But you can be sure they’re using their financial weight wherever it helps them – be it in Westminster, or in Brentwood. ]