Sir – The scenario: Tesco s boardroom in which a group of stressed executives are in a glum mood. The reason? With a thick property file of undeveloped, dormant sites around the country already, they have just spent millions on yet another acquisition, a
Sir - The scenario: Tesco's boardroom in which a group of stressed executives are in a glum mood.
The reason? With a thick property file of undeveloped, dormant sites around the country already, they have just spent millions on yet another acquisition, adjacent to the railway in WGC, with more millions required for demolition and clearance. And they don't know what to do with the land, once cleared?
One spokesman (WHT December 12) acknowledged that it was unlikely the company would be able to build a supermarket on the land, as the area was not allocated for retail use in the council's District Plan.
Come the WHT February 13 and we read that "Tesco bosses say it is too early to speculate on what it would build on the site... it's a massive redevelopment programme... but it's early days. We're looking forward to the best use of the site".
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Yes, but, what about the District Plan? Now, unless Tesco has gone into shipbuilding or space craft assembly, the sole intention is to build a supermarket, come what may.
They have already breached the first line of local defences, by securing the land to build on. The next step is to lay siege to the local council, and, by a strategy of "softly, softly, catchee monkee", will hope, eventually to achieve their intended goal, no matter how long it takes.
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The borough council's District Plan still on the drawing board will be of little consequence to a company aspiring to global dominance and used to dealing with the differing requirements of foreign governments, together with the need for adherence to local custom and religious beliefs.
What would the elected borough council have to offer, if caught up in a legal challenge backed up by such financial clout? There is no doubt that a superstore on the east side of the railway would draw custom, and on the basis that "every little helps - Tesco", this would be siphoned off, not only from the existing town centre retail outlets, but also from the more localised shopping areas around the town. What cost then to WGC and the community in the event? The Tesco spokesman stated that the site is only a mile from their head office (Shire Park), immaterial. I would however, point out to him that the Shredded Wheat silos are within viewing range from the vicinity of their existing store on Jack Oldings Corner, a fact which carries far more relivance to the question of need and desirability for yet another Tesco outlet locally and in such close proximity.
There is only one cake. But then all this is a figment of my imagination... isnt' it?
Gordon Aitken, Harwood Hill, WGC.