200 shops sign town petition against new Tesco

Echo: Paul Slennett and Jack Higgs-Wilson, Southend shop owners Paul Slennett and Jack Higgs-Wilson, Southend shop owners

MORE than 200 shopkeepers have signed a petition pleading with councillors to reject plans for a town centre Tesco.

Stores in Southend High Street, Southchurch Road, Chichester Road, Queens Road and London Road want Southend Council to torpedo the proposals for the former B&Q site in Short Street.

Councillors will meet tomorrow to decide whether to give the green light for a three-storey complex, and small businesses say approval could kill off the struggling town centre economy.

Even chain stores such as Topshop and Primark have signed the petition alongside independent traders.

Paul Slennett, who runs the Southend Christian Bookshop, in London Road, and organised the petition, said: “The strength of feeling against this new Tesco is really strong. Even I was surprised by just how many people wanted to sign the petition.

“The council has got to understand it cannot allow this supermarket to be built and expect the High Street to survive.

“We need a wide range of shops, not one selling everything under one roof.”

Tesco has been drawing up plans for a development at the site for the past four years, but its final proposals only emerged in March this year.

The supermarket giant wants to build a 7,771sqm store, with a raised walkway to the Victoria shopping centre.

However, fears over the amount of traffic it will generate have led Tesco bosses to propose leaving a third of the building unused until road improvements can be made.

Even in its scaled-down form, council officers predict it will swallow up all the traffic gains generated by the £7million revamp of Victoria Gateway.

With the High Street already reeling from last week’s loss of TJ Hughes, barely a year after it took over from defunct Woolworths, opponents claim a new Tesco would effectively kill off smaller stores.

Shops signing the petition include Southend Food and Wine in London Road as well as chain brands like Monsoon, Topshop, Superdrug and Primark. The plans have split stores in the Victoria centre, with owner Bill Harkness backing the plans, but some shops, such as Fiori florists, believing it could cause unwanted competition.

Patsy Link, spokeswoman for campaign group Saxon King in Priory Park, erected a banner on the B&Q site over the weekend which read Tesco kills shops. She added: “We have to act now. This could destroy our High Street.”

Comments (12)

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4:34pm Wed 24 Aug 11

Poster Boy says...

If not a Tesco, then what? Leave it as it is? An empty building with that lovely fadded red paint job? If they win and a Tesco isn't built, will the shop owners pay to have something like a park put in it's location or will the tax payers who aren't signing the petition have to pay for this? I understand not having a Tesco there but come with suggestions for the site as well.
If not a Tesco, then what? Leave it as it is? An empty building with that lovely fadded red paint job? If they win and a Tesco isn't built, will the shop owners pay to have something like a park put in it's location or will the tax payers who aren't signing the petition have to pay for this? I understand not having a Tesco there but come with suggestions for the site as well. Poster Boy

4:36pm Wed 24 Aug 11

andy:) says...

Has Southend got 200 shops ?. Are any of them decent food shops ?. Maybe this will force Sainsbury's to pull its socks up and do something like open later.

Come on Tesco..hurry up, Ill shop there :)
Has Southend got 200 shops ?. Are any of them decent food shops ?. Maybe this will force Sainsbury's to pull its socks up and do something like open later. Come on Tesco..hurry up, Ill shop there :) andy:)

4:55pm Wed 24 Aug 11

Chymes81 says...

SAY NO TO TESCO. do we really need another supermarket? I don't think we do. There is a tesco on the A127 and they do a home delivery service. Granted i do my shopping online at Tesco, but i don't think we need one in town. Hopefully someone uses to boos tourism. Like an indoor paintball centre, a new roller city or an ice rink. How about an indoor skateboarding centre to stop the skateboarders from grinding all the benches, and concrete flowerbeds in and around town. Anything but another bl**dy supermarket.
SAY NO TO TESCO. do we really need another supermarket? I don't think we do. There is a tesco on the A127 and they do a home delivery service. Granted i do my shopping online at Tesco, but i don't think we need one in town. Hopefully someone uses to boos tourism. Like an indoor paintball centre, a new roller city or an ice rink. How about an indoor skateboarding centre to stop the skateboarders from grinding all the benches, and concrete flowerbeds in and around town. Anything but another bl**dy supermarket. Chymes81

5:31pm Wed 24 Aug 11

Bosniavet says...

We don't need another supermarket, but I can't help thinking this petition is just certain people protesting to avoid competition or having to cut their prices.
Personally, I feel the site should be used for more social housing provided by the council or a housing association, wiyth only those currently on the council list (not outsiders)qualifying
.
Alternatively, why not use it as a roller skating rink instead of the site previously suggested.
We don't need another supermarket, but I can't help thinking this petition is just certain people protesting to avoid competition or having to cut their prices. Personally, I feel the site should be used for more social housing provided by the council or a housing association, wiyth only those currently on the council list (not outsiders)qualifying . Alternatively, why not use it as a roller skating rink instead of the site previously suggested. Bosniavet

5:40pm Wed 24 Aug 11

firedog says...

What ever happened to good healthy competion,and as for paintball,ice rinks,scating rinks,etc,it isnt going to happen.Only a big company could afford to run a site in this location.Perhaps the other traders could improve the service they offer.
What ever happened to good healthy competion,and as for paintball,ice rinks,scating rinks,etc,it isnt going to happen.Only a big company could afford to run a site in this location.Perhaps the other traders could improve the service they offer. firedog

6:00pm Wed 24 Aug 11

tws123 says...

This is a prime site in the town centre and putting a Tesco there is the easy option. Sites like this don't come around often so its important to make the right decision. We already have many Tescos, a sainsbury, asda etc. why do we need another? Build something useful like affordable homes and apartments on the site as originally planned. Let Tesco move into the Sainsbury store when they move to Roots Hall, because all that will happen is we'll be left with another B&Q site like now!
This is a prime site in the town centre and putting a Tesco there is the easy option. Sites like this don't come around often so its important to make the right decision. We already have many Tescos, a sainsbury, asda etc. why do we need another? Build something useful like affordable homes and apartments on the site as originally planned. Let Tesco move into the Sainsbury store when they move to Roots Hall, because all that will happen is we'll be left with another B&Q site like now! tws123

7:52pm Wed 24 Aug 11

lost_scotsman says...

"un-wanted competition" if you dont want competition, then dont run a business. I do not believe that These Tesco stores and any big supermarket impact on smaller stores at all. and i do have a good example. A few years ago I used to be the Manager of a Budgens supermarket. A tesco store opened in the same street literally 3 doors down. OK it meant we had to be more competitve with pricing and offers. But our weekly turnover maintained and was not effected by the Tesco. I think competition is great. Also if tesco opens the new store. They plan to creat 550 jobs i believe. Now surely that is an excellent thing for Southend. Can any single store that signed the petition say they can offer that level of employment?
"un-wanted competition" if you dont want competition, then dont run a business. I do not believe that These Tesco stores and any big supermarket impact on smaller stores at all. and i do have a good example. A few years ago I used to be the Manager of a Budgens supermarket. A tesco store opened in the same street literally 3 doors down. OK it meant we had to be more competitve with pricing and offers. But our weekly turnover maintained and was not effected by the Tesco. I think competition is great. Also if tesco opens the new store. They plan to creat 550 jobs i believe. Now surely that is an excellent thing for Southend. Can any single store that signed the petition say they can offer that level of employment? lost_scotsman

8:20pm Wed 24 Aug 11

John the resonator says...

Paul Slennett, who runs the Southend Christian Bookshop, in London Road, and organised the petition, said: “The strength of feeling against this new Tesco is really strong.
I really had no idea Tesco was going to be undercutting the cost of Bibles in their bid for world domination (or should I say denomination). Will there be Tesco value rubbish quality bibles too?

This time they have gone too far.
[quote]Paul Slennett, who runs the Southend Christian Bookshop, in London Road, and organised the petition, said: “The strength of feeling against this new Tesco is really strong. [/quote]I really had no idea Tesco was going to be undercutting the cost of Bibles in their bid for world domination (or should I say denomination). Will there be Tesco value rubbish quality bibles too? This time they have gone too far. John the resonator

11:42pm Wed 24 Aug 11

westcliff willi says...

What!! most of southends crime problem originates from the social housing already in the area what with the quantocks and malverns and you what more.
What!! most of southends crime problem originates from the social housing already in the area what with the quantocks and malverns and you what more. westcliff willi

12:29am Thu 25 Aug 11

Dumbnut says...

John the resonator wrote:
Paul Slennett, who runs the Southend Christian Bookshop, in London Road, and organised the petition, said: “The strength of feeling against this new Tesco is really strong.
I really had no idea Tesco was going to be undercutting the cost of Bibles in their bid for world domination (or should I say denomination). Will there be Tesco value rubbish quality bibles too? This time they have gone too far.
^ very good ^ Which shop Jack Higgs-Wilson own then?
[quote][p][bold]John the resonator[/bold] wrote: [quote]Paul Slennett, who runs the Southend Christian Bookshop, in London Road, and organised the petition, said: “The strength of feeling against this new Tesco is really strong. [/quote]I really had no idea Tesco was going to be undercutting the cost of Bibles in their bid for world domination (or should I say denomination). Will there be Tesco value rubbish quality bibles too? This time they have gone too far.[/p][/quote]^ very good ^ Which shop Jack Higgs-Wilson own then? Dumbnut

7:40am Thu 25 Aug 11

J'Send says...

So when it was B&Q it was never busy?
...
Also, I assume 'even' Primark and Topshop signing the petition means one of these two strolled in the respective stores on the High St, and pestered a member of staff till they signed it, and they DIDNT go to either companies head office?
So when it was B&Q it was never busy? ... Also, I assume 'even' Primark and Topshop signing the petition means one of these two strolled in the respective stores on the High St, and pestered a member of staff till they signed it, and they DIDNT go to either companies head office? J'Send

10:57am Thu 25 Aug 11

Hurri says...

Basildon's got a massive Asda attached to the shopping centre, and the town centre there seems to be doing alright.

Bring on the Tesco!
Basildon's got a massive Asda attached to the shopping centre, and the town centre there seems to be doing alright. Bring on the Tesco! Hurri

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