Having a direct C02 footprint bigger than many of the world’s nation states isn’t enough for Tesco UK. The nation’s favourite grocer has just submitted a planning application to Trafford Council for permission to build a 140,000 square foot Tesco Extra store in Gorse Hill, Stretford, as part of the Lancashire County Cricket Club re-development scheme. If approved, it would be one of the largest Tescos in the UK.
A Mega Tesco would bring scores of HGV lorries making relentless just-in-time deliveries to the store. Some of these lorries would no doubt contain the Atlantic haddock which Tesco transports from Scottish ports to Poland where labour costs are lower and back again to its UK stores. In addition, to such oh-so-not sustainable food transport policies, Tesco want to include around 1000 car parking spaces at the store.
Assuming that Tesco are expecting people to park their cars in these spaces, rather than use them for growing local food, it is difficult to see how the resulting increases in car journeys, congestion and C02 emissions can be squared with the the government’s planning guidance. The Government’s December 2007 Planning and Climate Change Supplement to Planning Policy Statement 1 (yes, we are geeks, but we need to be) states that planning authorities should expect new developments to “create and secure opportunities for sustainable transport in line with PPG13” and that any planning decisions made by local authorities should “shape sustainable communities that are resilient to and appropriate for the climate change now accepted as inevitable”.
Tesco may have become the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the retail sector, but we all know what happened to the dinosaurs that could not adapt to a serious bout of climate change. Let’s hope the local community can persuade Trafford Council to see sense and refuse this pre-historic planning application.
A little background- in 2004, Tesco were granted planning permission for a 48,000 square foot store on the same site and in 2006 submitted plans for an 89,000 sq foot store. These latter plans were refused by the local council and Tesco lost their appeal at a full public inquiry.
Further details on the campaign http://nomegatesco.blogspot.com
STOP PRESS: To give Trafford council a clear idea of how strongly people feel about the scale of this proposed development there will be a ‘presence’ to coincide with the next full Council meeting:
Weds 21st October, 5.30 – 6.45pm , at Old Trafford Town Hall on Talbot Rd (corner of Warwick Road and Talbot Road.