January 7, 2009
Councillor fears Tesco expansion
could be 'death knell' for Somerfield
Burnham-On-Sea town councillors have this week expressed concern
after it emerged that Tesco expects the proposed expansion of
its Love Lane store to hit sales at rival Somerfield by over half
a million pounds, potentially putting the store in jeopardy.
of the town council's planning applications committee met to discuss
Tesco's application on Tuesday evening (January 6th) to review
a report on the Love Lane store's expansion plans.
councillors are extremely concerned that not all the facts about
the application have been easy to find," explained town clerk
council is particularly concerned about a public transport service
to be launched by Tesco as part of a so-called '106 planning agreement'.
supermarket giant has pledged to give £100,000 towards developing
a new shuttle bus service, in addition to £200,000 towards
the regeneration of Burnham town centre, if its store expansion
several town councillors fear the shuttle bus would encourage
shoppers in the town centre and particularly those who use Somerfield
in Pier Street - where the service is likely to stop - to travel
to Tesco instead.
own document says it expects Somerfield to see a projected trade
drop-off of £530,000," said Mrs Shaw during Tuesday's
Ken Smout is among those who fear trade will be sucked out of
the town centre.
He told the meeting: "I worry that the 106 agreement is not
supporting the town, just benefiting Tesco. I'm all in favour
of fair trade, but the public transport service should benefit
added that the proposals could be the "death knell"
for Somerfield on Burnham's seafront.
we afford to risk a prominent store on the town's seafront being
boarded up?" he asked fellow councillors. "I doubt the
store could afford to lose such a large amount as £530,000."
Janet Keen said she too has "concerns," adding: "I'm
not happy with how Tesco has presented this and would be far happier
if the public transport service were to take in a wider area."
Chris Williams added: "There are lots of unanswered questions
here, like what the frequency of the public transport service
will be, what the route will be, what impact it will have on the
existing First Bus service, and whether the service will serve
outlying villages and therefore help those residents to come into
Burnham town centre. Until we have answers, we will not know the
'106 agreement' will be one of several factors to be considered
by Sedgemoor District Council when the application goes for a
final decision later this month.
the town council has asked the district council for more detailed
information and guidance about future major planning applications.
was first to report
last July Tesco's intention to expand its store. If approved,
the scheme will provide an extra 1,200 square metres of shopping
space and double the number of available parking spaces. It is
designed to tackle over-crowding in the store and car park at
peak times. Last
October, one trader in Burnham-On-Sea labled Tesco 'a wolf
in sheep's clothing' over its plans to expand the supermarket.
expansion at Burnham traders meeting
finds 86% of Burnham residents back Tesco expansion
plans to build 17 new homes next to expanded store
details emerge over Tesco expansion plans
to unveil expansion plans for Burnham store