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Tesco Move Fast… Hoardings already going up. Don’t Forget: Public Meeting at Hamilton House 7pm Monday 8th Feb.

February 7, 2010

These hoardings went up on Saturday. They were installed by a crew of workers who came from London to do the work. One of them commented that he kept hearing local people complaining about the prospective arrival of Tesco in the Croft.

It will be essential to organise a coherent, innovative campaign if we are to

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Frith Trezevant permalink
    February 7, 2010 10:18 pm

    I am unable to attend the meeting due to working to pay off my huge debts.

    I am a BIG FAN of the integrity of Stokes Croft. If people really need to visit a wee TESCO, there is one on Glos Strode a few hundred yards away, and a TESCO express across from the bus station. You all know this, I know, I’m just saying.

    Stokes Croft is special. It is an arts community, with an ethos that is not in tune with the way TESCO works. It is not about supplying standardised goods to a standard community. It is about bespoke work, from the coffee shops to the outdoor galleries.

    Stokes Croft needs special zoning status as an arts community. Otherwise, there will be McDonalds and KFC alongside. It’s not about class, or brass. It’s about allowing SC to develop in a unique way, so that it will be an asset to Bristol.

    Come on Bristol! You said NO to the Edinburgh Festival!!! This was madness, in retrospect, but probably just fear and uncertainty at the time. Don’t make the same mistake with Stokes Croft. The environment here is not robust, and it won’t take a lot to make it another faceless bit of the inner city. Don’t let this happen. Have faith in the community, and support it.

    Best wishes


  2. Redvee permalink
    February 8, 2010 1:32 am

    How soon before the ‘Tesco’ blue hoardings are decorated by local artists?

    Dropping the gauntlet for you Chris lol

  3. JESUS permalink
    February 8, 2010 6:04 pm

    Please, please, please in the name of our lord try everything u can to provent tesco from been built. Theirs one at the bottom of the croft round the corner and not far to the big one in broad mead. Stop the corperate world dommination of tesco.

  4. bernard permalink
    February 8, 2010 7:25 pm

    I filled in the form for local protests on the Tescopoly website & they emailed me to say they have put this up:

    “Stokescroft, Bristol
    Tesco has secured the lease on an old comedy club (Jesters) in the Cheltenham Road. Bristol City Council has already granted Change of Use planning permission but residents and local traders are concerned about the impact this proposed store will have on the community.

    It will become the sixth Tesco shop within half-a-mile of the city centre and the 15th within a two-mile radius of the centre.

    A public meeting is planned 7.00pm on Monday 8 Feb at Hamilton House’s Events Space to find out how to help prevent this and explore what the community does want. Even if you do not live in or near Stokes Croft – please do come along to show your support for the need for Bristol City Council to support, not wipe out local communities.

    For more information please visit and see media coverage at, 28th January 2010.”


  5. February 10, 2010 9:28 am

    I was sorry not to have been able to attend the meeting on Monday, but I did send an email to those people who have expressed an interest in Stokes Croft letting them know of the meeting. I understand it was well attended! If you didn’t get the email, but would like to be kept in touch on Stokes Croft (or other Ashley ward) issues then let me know. The February “Ashley eFocus” is due out shortly.

    I have also been in discussion with various people, including local residents, officers, fellow councillors and our MP Stephen Williams. I will post my comments separately.

  6. February 10, 2010 9:34 am

    I have at least three interests here.

    (1) Local resident – lived, worked and raised a family here since arriving at University in 1973

    (2) Local councillor with Shirley Brown. We are both passionate about Stokes Croft, and have been involved with Chris Chalkley, PRSC, Hamilton House, St Pauls Unlimited and others to help make it happen. We try very hard to represent the views of local residents, businesses and organisations, and in this situation will do all we can to ensure questions are answered and any lessons learned.

    (3) Executive Member for Transport and Sustainability – a bit of a mouthful, but the work of the Planning Department is part of my portfolio. As such I try not to express opinions on specific planning matters, but work strenuously to see that views are heard, processes are fair and that the strategic direction reflects our sustainable aspirations for the city.

    You will be aware that planning law does not allow councils to “discriminate” for or against any one particular retailer.

    In this case, planning permission was granted by officers under “delegated powers” for change of use from stand up comedy/performance venue (Use Class D2) to shop (Use Class A1) on the 26th November 2009 (BCC ref 09/03838/F).

    All interested parties can register for planning updates – I (and anyone else who is interested in their area) get planning updates about the local area once or twice a week with between 2 and 15 applications in them. I have looked back at 6th October 2009….

    “Dear Jon,

    Your PlanningFinder notifications
    We have found 3 planning applications which match one or more of your saved searches. Below is a summary of these results. More information can be found by clicking on the “view full search results” links.

    Within 0.6 miles of BS6 5QH » view full search results

    09/03871/COND: Stapleton Road Service Station 82-90 Stapleton Road Bristol BS5 0PW
    Status: Pending Consideration (new application)
    09/03838/F: 140 – 142 Cheltenham Road Bristol BS6 5RL
    Status: Pending Consideration (new application)
    09/03892/Z: 70 Kingsdown Parade Bristol BS6 5UQ
    Status: Pending Consideration (new application)”

    This said,

    “Application No. 09/03838/F
    Date Received 30 September 2009
    Date Registered 1 October 2009
    Type of Application Full Planning
    Site Address 140 – 142 Cheltenham Road Bristol BS6 5RL
    Proposal Change of use from stand up comedy/performance venue (Use Class D2) to shop (Use Class A1).
    Applicant Jesters Comedy Club Ltd
    Case Officer Mr Jonathan Coombs Tel No. 0117 922 3841 ”

    I regret that I didn’t think it of concern. A new shop requested by Jesters Comedy Club to replace their empty space would have seemed most reasonable. I know that other local residents and organisations also keep an eye on local planning applications as well.

    The decision to allow a change of use therefore seems to be legitimate. I see no legal grounds to challenge it.

    If you would like to keep in touch with local planning applications, then I use

    I will let you know when I hear more on this issue.

  7. February 10, 2010 9:43 am


    1) Who has given Tesco permission to put hoardings and barriers on the public footpath?

    2) What conditions have been placed upon vehicle access to the store when operating, indeed has this been approved?

    3) Has Tesco applied for a drinks licence? (I realise this won’t be to planning committee)?

    4) What other permissions are required for the store to operate?



  8. February 10, 2010 6:45 pm

    Paul asks me a number of questions…

    (1) Who has given Tesco permission to put hoardings and barriers on the public footpath?

    I understand that a hoarding licence was issued by the council on 4th February 2010.

    (2) What conditions have been placed upon vehicle access to the store when operating, indeed has this been approved?

    There is an existing Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in place on Cheltenham Road which prevents loading and deliveries between 7 am and 10am and 4pm and 6.30pm Mondays to Fridays. Planning conditions also control the hours of servicing and refuse collection. The details are in the delegated officer report on the planning web site.

    (3) Has Tesco applied for a drinks licence? (I realise this won’t be to planning committee)?

    I understand that Tesco is yet to apply to BCC for a premises licence to sell alcohol.

    (4) What other permissions are required for the store to operate?

    I understand that Tesco are required to obtain planning permission for alterations to the shopfront and advertisement consent for any advertisements (applications are expected in the next week and will be subject to public consultation.)

    Thanks to the various officers for their speedy replies.


  9. February 11, 2010 1:57 pm

    On Twitter, I have had “mahgnicalling” ask “@cllrjonrogers how was tesco able to get planning permission for 140 – 142 cheltenham road without going through planning committee?

    As detailed above, the planning permission was not given to Tesco, it was given Jesters to change the use of their old comedy club premises into a shop. This would have been dealt with by planning officers under “delegated powers” unless it was felt contentious or major.

    • February 11, 2010 2:07 pm

      Thanks for your reply Jon.

      It was Tesco through an act of misdirection:

      Jesters went into administration in May 2008. Tesco will have bought the company from the bank and applied for the change of use in their name. Ironic considering the original owner of the company had apparently been resisting Tesco’s attempts to get hold of the site.

      In which case, my suspicion is that Tesco did this deliberately to avoid it looking contentious and have tricked the planning process.

    • February 12, 2010 6:07 pm

      I understand from the Bristol Green Party that the change of use request was granted to an agent named G L Hearn of Sydney Buildings in Bath. An online search reveals that this is a property consultant, which lists Tesco as one of its clients.

  10. February 11, 2010 2:15 pm

    For information, I have also just been notified of two petitions that are on the council website:

    Say ‘NO’ to TESCO in Stokes Croft – we demand meaningful consultation

    Reject all new Tescos stores in Bristol

    • bsk permalink
      February 12, 2010 8:32 pm

      Note that the second of the petitions Jon flags up has now been closed by the proposer in favour of the first.

  11. Edwin Fairbrother permalink
    February 11, 2010 4:31 pm

    Hello, i am very interested in this issue. I am currently a student of Journalism at UWE and im thinking of writting a news feature on this issue, to be subbmitted as part of my coursework in April. I will be speaking to a number of sources about this, i would like in particular to speak to people opposing this, hopefully conducting a face to face interview with someone about this issue.
    Can anyone who is interested in speaking about this issue with me please contact me via email or telephone. Preferably someone involved in the People’s Replublic of Stokes Croft or anyone that may be organising a campaign against it.

    Tel- 07969293327


    • February 12, 2010 5:56 pm

      Hi Edred, my advice as a journalist is to get down to Stokes Croft and talk to people.

      Nothing beats your first-hand experience.

      See you at the Celebratory Demonstration on Saturday at 2pm!

  12. February 13, 2010 11:32 am

    I still feel that you’re all fighting a lost cause. The planning issues that Tesco seeks are in complete accordance with the THI. The purpose of the THI is to improve the image of the area through structural and cosmetic improvements to the buildings using lottery funding.

    Here’s the crux of the issue. Is there demand for a local supermarket? If you could forget your prejudices against Tesco, you’d realise that there is – and this is the only basis on which planning consent was applied for. It isn’t legal for one to object to a particular application because of objections to that operator’s business practices, where those practices are lawful. Ever increasing population densities, even in Stokes Croft, mean that there is demand. Due consideration and then consent would have been given on that basis. Remember that that site was once a very low quality supermarket called ‘BiLo’. Small supermarkets feed only small pockets of populations. This is why it is commercially viable for Tesco (or any other operator) to take that site, regardless of its proximity to other stores.

    It made me smile yesterday to see the sign the squatters have erected pointing out the nearest Tesco stores. One is 400 yards away, the other 600 yards apparently. They neglected to point out the two nearer Somerfields, the Sainsbury Local, the Co-Op store in the Texaco garage, and the supermarket opposite the Bishop’s Tavern. Other supermarket operators outnumber Tesco by 5 to 2! And isn’t one of Bristol’s most ‘Montpelier-suitable’ stores, Scoopaway, actually right next door to the busiest local Somerfield in Bristol? And operating successfully, since time began? Look around and you’ll see many other stores like Scoopaway, none of which struggle in the midst of the local supermarket ‘frenzy’.

    My point is (yet again) that Tesco is hardly likely to destroy Stokes Croft. It will merely provide nearer convenience for the increasing population of the area (especially those in the Linden development). Local shops with unique, and individual personalities will always thrive, anywhere. Generic operators like Tesco only serve to strengthen the differences. It’s such a poor argument to compare the Tesco product range against local shops too. Are you trying to tell me that the Post Office, and the corner stores on Picton Street and Ashley Road don’t sell fizzy drinks, crisps, sweets and pot noodles? As well as enough alcohol to keep any vagrant community up to its eyes in booze!

    I also don’t see that Stokes Croft is some kind of local arts centre. A few murals on wooden boards pinned to buildings, doesn’t make it so. Chris and the PRSC have done great work to raise the profile of the area, but ultimately, Stokes Croft needs investment to bring it out of its seemingly impossible-to-shift reputation for crime and social degradation. If the people who are objecting to Tesco were to talk to ALL of the business people in the area, rather than just the fearful food retailers, they’d realise that this was the case. Rarely do I pay a visit to the Post Office without having to watch Ash and his wife sling out some misbehaving idiot, or watch as drunks piss in the steps of Westmoreland House, or see brawls between addicts, or put up with mindless tagging, even on some of the better murals on the derelcit buildings.

    If you want an area known for its art, then you need to emulate areas like Montmatre in Paris. To do that, you need both investment and an injection of council tourism money. Give me a reason, why, right now, any self-respecting tourist would come to Stokes Croft? If your interest is in social degradation on an almost ethically unjustifiable scale, then SC has it all. If it’s art you’re after, best go to the Tate in London. I am forgetting the Mild Mild West Banksy that so many now try to destroy though aren’t I? He’s sold out hasn’t he? Or is that just local artist in-fighting about the ethics of success. It’s an interesting conundrum. For your next essay/blog, compare and contrast Banksy’s succcess with that of Tesco. I look forward to some fascinating reading.

  13. I'm Up For Tesco! lol! permalink
    February 16, 2010 12:58 pm

    Right then… I only came across this site because I was trying to find out when the store was opening but I’ve got to say my piece..

    I live on Arley Hill. I love the thought of having a Supermarket a stones throw away from where I live as when you just need a few bits.. you have to spend twice as much in a corner shop (or Post Office) that doesn’t usually have what you want anyway! What about the x2 Massage Parlours on Stokes Croft???? Why not climb on their roof? Hello?! I saw the Bandits on the roof of the site the other day but it didn’t look to me like they were getting the response they wanted. They looked pretty bored. I too laughed out loud, mainly because I was going to have a new Tesco on my doorstep but also because it looked like a Fathers for Justice campaign! Come on guys.. if you’re gonna complain.. there are more issues in this area that would completely outshine the opening of a new Tesco.

    The new Tesco will give people jobs. I love the Arts of Stokes but can’t stand seeing the empty buildings doing nothing when there are so many jobless (& Homeless.. but we’re talking about Tesco here) people out there. I think that part Cheltenham Rd is in a completely different league to the neighbouring Stokes that you are all referring to anyway. Are any of you that are complaining even residents of the area? It would be interesting to know what all us “Residents” think about it all. There are bound to be the odd few that are opposing it but I think most of us will welcome it, purely on a convenience level. For those of you that “don’t” live in the area: If the store you get your groceries from (whether it be Tesco, Somerfield, Scoopaway, Asda.. blah..) was NOT there.. how inconvenient would it be for you to go somewhere else? I am actually speaking from a non-driver’s point of view here. When I want to do my shopping at the new Tesco down the road, I’ll no longer have to spend money on a cab. I can do my monthly shop in 2.. 3.. even 4 trips if I want to. The convenience will be endless.

    This is a Beautiful area & all it needs is a bit of polishing. Tesco is a good place to start. I’ve lived here for over 4 yrs now & that part of Cheltenham Rd looks a lot better than it was when first got here.

    Anyway.. I’m off to Tesco.. in town! (for now).

  14. Gavin permalink
    February 18, 2010 12:37 am

    Did you ever stop to think that it might be better for the local shoppers and the local economy to have a healthy selection of bakers, green-grocers, butchers, general food stores, delis and other food and non-food shops all competing with each other to provide the best value, best range, best shopping experience? That’s what happens further up the Gloucester Road (although it’s struggling to compete with the competition-killing tactics of an increasing number of supermarkets).

    Accept a large Tesco (or any other large supermarket) in Stokes Croft now and you will never get that range of food shops – you’ll get whatever Tesco chooses to sell at whatever price they choose to charge and nothing more.

  15. Andy Youl permalink
    February 24, 2010 1:58 pm

    ‘Dave Trew’ and ‘I’m up for Tesco’ clearly haven’t looked around the area. There is a perfectly good convenience store called C&T Licata and sons on Picton street, as is there a pharmacy, corner shop, veg shop and bakers (Herberts). My opposition, as an Arley Hill resident, isn’t to Tesco, but to any supermarket, as it would devestate local outlets that have been trading for years. As such, it doesn’t make sense for the council to approve any further planning applications that allow a supermarket at the old jesters site.

  16. Dave permalink
    March 3, 2010 10:46 pm

    You lot are bonkers. They’re not building a nuclear power station, IT’S A BLOODY CONVENIENCE STORE.

    • September 28, 2010 9:52 am

      Spot on its just a shop and will give the other shops competiton and may even bring more customers to the area.

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