So Tesco is after Woolworth’s old premises – where they plan one of their Tesco Express stores.
Does the thought fill you with pleasure? Or with concern, perhaps that our smaller shops will suffer and eventually become empty?
It is said there is nothing can be done to stop Tesco and maybe you feel “okay, that’s life – the strong guy wins”.
If, however, you think there could be a detrimental effect to our area, you may at the very least wish your representatives to know how you feel.
Unfortunately, by ‘your representatives’, do not think we mean your local councillors or even your Council. They haven’t a say because Tesco’s business, as was Woolworth’s, is A1 (retail). It doesn’t represent a change of use therefore does not have to secure planning permission, other than for the signage which must meet Conservation Area rules.
Plenty of residents are content about this – better than a fast-food chain or a discount shop, they think. Others fear parking problems and increased deliveries that may accrue in and behind the High Street. Some are concerned about the possible future expansion of this powerful store.
Not long ago The Wanstead Society backed the Evening Standard’s SAVE OUR SMALL SHOPS campaign. We were given hundreds of your signatures which were passed to our Council. They supported the movement and also the allied Sustainable Small Communities Bill but, without having signed up to use the Act which came into effect in October 2007, their 'support' is meaningless.
It would be helpful for us as a residents’ community group, to know how you feel. If overall, there are concerns, we would submit our evidence to our local MP and to Central Government. Of course you may feel otherwise. Please say that, too.
What practical impact – good or bad – do you think Tesco will have on Wanstead? Do you think that a planning law which does not allow you or your council a say – as when a change of occupant does not represent a 'change of use' – need amendment?
Please leave your comments.