Govt Advisor ‘slams’ Tesco report

Tesco are at it again – in their latest bid to monopolise shopping in the UK (and particularly in East Anglia), they’ve had a report commissioned. The report – unsurprisingly – comes down in their favour…

They claim that small Tesco stores ensure people keep using their local high streets! Oh really Tesco – is that why you’ve opened three Tesco in Brentwood well away from the high street? A government retail advisor has criticised it, saying it’s biased and out of date.

Read the report in the East Anglian Daily Times.


A reprieve – but not much of a reprieve…

The planning meeting which had been announced at late notice to include the Tesco Warley Hill development has been postponed.

Which is a relief, as some of us are half way around the world, but will be back for the next date which is in early July.

So, whilst others make plans for further over-development and damage to Brentwood’s community of local shops and local pubs, we’ll be planning our response and comment for the planning meeting.

It’s not much of a reprieve, but it does at least allow the issue to be fairly discussed, and will hopefully mean that any decision can be taken after councillors have taken careful and considered advice.

Interestingly, looking at the Essex County Council planning guide, the National Planning Policy Framework, and Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations, the development on Warley Hill would logically contravene them all. A point we hope out planning committee will bear in mind.

Watch this space!

Planning Meeting

We received information yesterday that a planning meeting on Tuesday next week will discuss the Tesco development – an astoundingly short period of notice. It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to put our views forward due to the short amount of notice provided.

However, every councillor in Brentwood has received the comments posted on this site and received by email – we’ll also submit a statement, and try to ensure that our points are made clear.

A local resident and an opposing group may make a submission at the planning meeting. The opposing group would be this website, but if you’re a local resident, contact planning by phone on 01277 312620.

In the meantime – Tesco’s untruths are exposed in the latest East Anglian Daily Times here…

Houses houses…

Something that hasn’t been mentioned on this site yet is the fact that an extra shop in Warley might be useful. There’s a huge housing development in Clements Park, but no shop at all.

Of course the Tesco won’t be much use to the folk of Clements Park – very few of them will find it convenient for walking. Those who do use it will come and park on Warley Hill – adding to the madness of siting superstore on that location.

But – however did the developers get away with building the massive development in Clements Park without bothering to put in any shop at all? A little loose research this morning reveals there are around 500 properties at Clements Park.

And what does Essex County Council say about developments of 500 properties?

Let’s see, shall we?

“It is desirable that most larger developments incorporate a range of non residential uses… such as shops, schools… No development of more than 500 dwellings should be without such uses”

Not a single shop has been built in Clements Park (to the best of my knowledge) – they did manage to include a school and a doctor’s surgery, but how they managed to build all those houses with not a single shop is a mystery.

The Clements Park development also appears to contradict a number of other features of the ‘Essex Design Guide‘ – which is supposed to ensure residential developments in Essex are sustainable and appropriate.

Looks like our local council failed us – let us hope they don’t do so with the proposed development(s) on Warley Hill.

Your local shops and community need you!

Just 24 hours remain for submissions of objection to the new superstore on Warley Hill.

  • A new ATM
  • Online shopping services
  • Extended store
  • Long and late opening hours
  • Extra signage and lighting
  • Cooling and refrigeration equipment
  • Bollards splitting the pavement
  • New doors and structural alterations
  • New roller shutters

Are all part of the plan – but the council have it within their power to stop much of it. They just need to be reminded that it’s inappropriate. All the above, and just eight parking spaces, together with no changes to the narrow stretch of road, mean that this is possibly the most inappropriate location for a Tesco ever.  In the week a survey announced that 25% of high street shops could vanish. And purpose built retail units remain empty across Brentwood and along the High St.

Help your local shops, and preserve the community, visit or email today and let them know that this latest development is a Tesco too far.

Remember, Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation think tank said: ‘That one company can make such massive profits is a demonstration of equally massive market failure. Unless someone steps in we’ll soon be told: ‘You can shop anywhere you like as long as it’s Tesco.’

Time Running out for Tesco?

After the recent disastrous showing in the stock market and the huge losses on their failed project in the USA, could time be running out for the supermarket giant?

In Warley, we’ve a few days left to object to the plans to open a superstore (make no mistake that’s what’s planned) on the narrowest point of Warley Hill – opening all hours and offering online shopping collections as well as an ATM and added signage and lighting, the store promises to be their biggest and most intrusive in Brentwood so far.

Support for this campaign has been phenomenal, with over 1200 views of this site alone, many signatures on the petition and excellent comments which we’ll be submitting to the council.

However, please email your objections to today. The deadline is the end of the month. 

The scale of the operation, with twice daily deliveries, constant traffic to the ATM and ‘click n collect’ service, along with everything else Tesco are promising will have nothing but a negative effect on our community. Sadly the law is not necessarily stacked in the favour of the community, but hopefully common sense is.

Objections to Tesco’s current plans (quite apart from those on the rest of this site) are:

Application: 13/00410/ADV: 9 no. Signs, 4 no Illuminated.

The signs and lighting will detract from the style of the building, and create light pollution through the night.

Application: 13/00406/FUL: Installation of 6 no Bollards

These bollards combined with the ATM will reduce the pavement to an extremely narrow passage.

Application: 13/00408/FUL: Installation of ATM

The ATM will encourage parking on the double-yellow lines, which won’t be possible to police 18hrs a day, and will reduce the passage on the pavement making it hazardous.

Application: 13/00409/FUL: External Alterations

The installation of automatic doors on Warley Hill will encourage parking on the hill and damage the appearance of the building beyond restoration.

A bit of history

On the internet, you’ll find a photo like this – look at that lovely symmetry! The original early 20th Century Pub building is set to be decimated by Tesco’s neon signage swamping three sides of the building, destroying the windows and replacing them with a set of glass concertina doors, replacing the entrance to the saloon bar with an ATM and slashing the pavement width by half.

Talk of the mooted ‘crossing’ has become very muted of late – I strongly suspect Tesco had made sure that wasn’t practicable well before they offered to support it…

So – objections to the plans need to be in by the end of the month – more will be posted here soon, but in the meantime, please don’t wait for us – you can view the applications here: and object to or by telephone to 01277 312620.


Had an interesting conversation today about the cost of Tesco Express – there’s been a lot of talk about how cheap it’ll be.

It suddenly dawned on me during this conversation that many people expect Tesco shops to be the same price – regardless of whether it’s an Xtra store or an Express – this isn’t the case. In a major superstore, a can of diet coke will be about 50-60p. In Tesco express near to my work, the same can is 75p – the price varies (of course) depending upon what Tesco think they can get for it.

If you’re labouring under the misconception that Tesco will be significantly cheaper than anywhere else, think again.

Another one

It seems Tesco have a solution to the perception that their pub take-overs aren’t all about the community and philanthropy.

The solution? throw £500 into the opening budget, and hand it to someone local, who will inevitably be grateful and provide a suitable photo opportunity for the local press.

In Hutton of course it was St Francis Hopsice who were the recipients of the ‘commitment to the community’ donation

Undoubtedly some suitable cause will benefit for the benefit of Tesco when (if) they arrive in Warley – remember it’s by no means a foregone conclusion – other places have succeeded in halting the shopping leviathan…

A vision of the future… (2)

This week, we saw an indication of the kind of problem which will become a regular occurrence on Warley Hill if Tesco arrives:

2013-02-22 09.25.23 (1)

As you can see, there’s no space to park a delivery van on the hill, so it’s blocked up the pavement. Even then, there’s only space for one vehicle to pass at a time.

Expect this to become a regular feature of life, with traffic jammed in both directions day and night.