More views on Tesco plan for WGC town centre

SIR – In a Scottish town recently, I saw an established Morrison store, of modest size, on an area sandwiched between two side roads; the picture was completed by the sight of a Tesco store under construction, being squeezed in alongside the other store,

SIR - In a Scottish town recently, I saw an established Morrison store, of modest size, on an area sandwiched between two side roads; the picture was completed by the sight of a Tesco store under construction, being squeezed in alongside the other store, and obviously, from its elevation, intended to be of greater prominence.

There would barely be room for a boundary fence between them.

Acceptable healthy competition or an act of predatory dominance?

Will the number of potential customers in that area, suddenly multiply by two? Was this a small scale preview of the situation our town will be facing with a competing town centre either side of the railway as proposed by Tesco?


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With the release of details of some of their intentions they are indulging in the "softly, softly, catchee monkey" approach... a toe in the water to test the temperature of local opinion, with the possibility of a bargaining chip emerging for use to combat the provisions of the District Plan, before actually submitting a planning application to the council?

The site of the Shredded Wheat factory would place a Tesco superstore, whatever its final size, in a prime trading position at the eastern end of Hunters Bridge, the artery leading into the existing town centre.

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Can it be claimed that this location would not seriously interfere with the day to day business of the established town centre, with a further damaging consequence that would be felt by the local shopping areas around the town as custom was siphoned off? Why are we not treated to a factual computer image of the intended store, vital to the overall proposal?

Tesco PLC is not a philanthropic society dispensing its largesse to all mankind. Almost within hailing distance, from the top of the Shredded Wheat silos, is its lucrative superstore at Jack Oldings Corner, and, beyond, the unhappy, neglected Hatfield town centre, with, completing the triangle, the Salisbury Square shopping enclave of Old Hatfield, seeking resurrection.

The unavoidable question for OUR town is, on gaining access as a dominant faction, just how big a slice of an already locally shared cake would be adequate enough to appease the undeniably aggressive appetite of Tesco, which has already reached global proportion?

Gorden Aitken, Harwood Hill, WGC.

SIR - Is there anyone so naive as to believe that Tesco would buy land and not want to build a superstore on it? They've offered us a 'sweetener' by way of an indoor swimming pool but will want their store in exchange, particularly as plans to build a superstore in Hertford have been turned down.

And what about Sainsbury? Weren't there big plans to build a new store in the town? Will they now pull out, leaving more empty shops?

Let's hope the planning authority will think of the longterm effect before agreeing to this plan.

Name and address supplied.

Sir - We need a Tesco to provide competition to Waitrose and Sainsbury's. Let's hope Tesco use the railways to bring the goods in. Let's hope the footbridge will be rejuvenated. Get rid of the railings currently restricting the bridge.

Let's hope Tesco provide a fuel station, competition again for the few petrol stations in WGC. Let's hope we get a pool again after the disgrace of shutting Stanborough Park years ago. Let's hope M Perkins takes notice of the 78 per cent who favour the project.

Let's hope we also get some road improvement. Roads into and out of WGC at rush hour are a nightmare. A1(M) needs more lanes.

Sum up; Tesco yes, pool yes, house yes, nightclub yes, bowling alley yes, skate park yes, decent eating place yes.

About time WGC had some improvements.

Mr. C Richardson, Bassingburn Walk, WGC.

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