Beestonia and The Tesco FAIL

                                   (image shamelessly linked from the very fine www.tescopoly.org . Cheers!)

Just when it seemed Tesco was a non-story, its depressing inevitability now with a confirmed opening date, something very interesting crops up.

My annoyance at Tesco has been a constant theme throughout the life of Beestonia: from my upset at Pet Mart being bulldozed after its plucky stand against the retail behemoth, to my attempts to get the site designated a protected wildlife area by introducing some rare newts; to my planned, and possibly illegal occupation of the site and planting of the Beestonia flag to claim the area as a independent republic. The way such a prime site, ideally placed for a cluster of very much-needed affordable homes to be built on, was so cynically gifted  to a company who care not a jot about Beeston, and will rip the heart out of the high street without blinking. Special thanks here to Beeston Conservative’s, who pretended to oppose the plans while simultaneously accepting a huge wodge of cash to move their club into a plush new building.

The  last few weeks I’ve been watching the progress with a heavy heart, and that horrible pragmatic realisation that despite my ire towards it, I’d probably end up shopping there. Sigh.

We lost.

Or is there still a battle to fight?

Earlier this week, an email arrived from a Beestonian who had moved to  our fair town, and more specifically, right next to the site. Then it was still wasteland, so was quite a shock to her when she realised a mega-store was being built on her doorstep. Or as she succinctly puts it ‘I moved to a small Labour town, I now live in a giant Tory supermarket’. After reading that how could I not decide to don my cast-aside anti-Tesco tabard, polish off my reporters pen and dog-eared notepad and go to work?

Tesco made several promises when fighting for permission to build, some of these related to the disturbance that would be made to locals living nearby. This included limiting working hours:  8.00am-18.00 during the week, 8.00am-13:00 on a Saturday, and nothing  on a Sunday. Which seems fair enough, if you don’t work shifts. Except it seems Tesco (I know it’s technically contractors hired by Tesco, but ultimately Tesco have responsibility for the works, so I will continue to refer to them as such) are so desperate to get the store open by early November they have arrogantly, and possibly illegally, decided not to bother adhering to these rules. Work has been starting as 7am most mornings, and work on a sunday has become commonplace. Heres a picture of the site from Sunday 3rd October:

and also this from last Sunday, the 10th:

Hmm, that looks like working to me, unless some blokes in hi-vis are playing on an improvised slide, and categorically NOT working.

This inevitably results in this:

:                                          

Gridlock on Queen’s Road. (Also check out the billboard that proclaims ‘THE BIG TORIES TART HERE’. Please feel free to add your own satire)

This is only a small selection of pictures I’ve been sent on the issue. But lets move onto another issue: the incredibly badly thought-out pavement obstructions, which are impassable to wheelchair/mobility scooter users and pushchairs, and occasionally downright suicidal for even the most able-bodied pedestrian.

                   

The   first pic is particularly scary: as it leads the gentle, soft, squishy pedestrian directly into the path of hard, fast, crushing vehicles. At least Ginever’s funeral parlour is opposite, so your demise will be quickly dealt with.

My informant has been in touch with the Council, MP Soubry, and Tesco’s themselves, but is pretty much convinced that this weekend her sleep will be broken as work continues in earnest. If you live by, send me pics/videos/ anecdotes. It won’t make Tesco back down, demolish the store and plant a butterfly meadow, but it will get them to stop being so incredibly arrogant in the construction; and I’ll contact anti-Tesco groups who still have their stores in the planning stage, and pass it on to help the case against another soulless box being thrown up in their town.

As the saying goes, Every Little Helps.

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14 thoughts on “Beestonia and The Tesco FAIL

  1. Tamar feast says:

    If you end up shopping there I’ll never read your blog again. I haven’t set foot in a Tesco for more than 4 years. Once you write it off, it’s pretty easy. It helps if you imagine to yourself that they beat up your Mum/brother/otherhalf. I mean, you wouldn’t buy cake from someone who bashed your rellies, would you? It’s kind of the same… Bastards.

  2. David Watts says:

    Hi Matt

    I will look into this at the council tomorrow, If they are breaching the planning conditions then I will do all I can to put it right.

    David

  3. Gailsman says:

    I’ll certainly won’t be shopping there. I’d like to suggest that everyone who hates the store, protests on the day of opening. Placards with “Death by blue and white stripes”, “Shop here and kill the High Road” etc. Should make the news.

  4. TheRylander says:

    I’m going to still shop at Sainsburys and Hunts…I will probably use their car park though :p

    It makes me so mad when I get stuck in traffic do to the construction. I can’t believe my bro don’t think the building design is pig ugly.

  5. Mel says:

    I think we should all think of the small long-standing retailers like Hallams and Barnsdales and really go all out to support them, and the organic markets. It is these shops that keep the bustling little Beeston so full of character. If Tesco’s brings more business to these shops then fab. I’m not shopping there because all the choice just gives me a headache! We should support our community….

  6. Ben Beeston says:

    I wish I could be like poster number 2.

    The road works are often left in a pretty poor state, the pedestrian crossing is usually a route to certain death. If I’m with my daughter in a push chair I cross by the crown.

    I look forward to parking at tescos and using the high street. The access to Hallams looks like it will be be pretty good. The walk to the Home Made Bakery and Hoggs will be a bit longer than it is from Sainsbury’s car park and it means a slight detour to get to the Bean, so it’s not all good news.

    Reality is that we’ll probably all shop in Tescos, because at 18:00 when you’ve got no milk or bread or rambutans, where are you going to go? If Beeston high street stores could do a late opening evening once a week I’m sure it would help everyone stay afloat in the face of the behemoth. I’m sure Hallams could knock up a cracking mulled wine to keep shoppers warm on a winters evening.

    Poster 4. You’re bro needs his eyes checking, the building is a dog.

  7. Maggie says:

    Ben, there are already two shops which are open after 18.00 on the Broadgate end of the High St,, indeed one of them is open until 23.00 & the other until 20.00.

    Both shops sell bread & milk etc, not sure about the availability of rambutans though !

  8. Megan says:

    I’m horrified with how the building works have gone on. They never start or finish at a reasonable time, I hadnt even realised there were supposed to be time restrictions until my neighbour told me about it and when I tried to ask one of the builders about the massive queues and how to get my car around a digger on Sunday, he swore at me. All that PR rubbish about how this store was going to improve our town, this store clearly does not care in the least bit about the town and the people they’ve descended on, they’ve proved that before they even opened. it’s all about opening their coffers as soon as possible and to hell with how we actually have to live here.

  9. Davey G says:

    I’m up for a few placards – sounds like fun – who is arranging? 🙂

  10. Sarah says:

    As heard on Radio Nottingham…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00bh8t6/Andy_Whittaker_15_10_2010/

    Do the listening equivalent of “blink” and you might miss it at 52:00 mins in. But the story’s on the beeb nevertheless.

    Tesco response? Those guys wearing their Tesco branded hi vis are doing highways work at the weekends/evenings, and are therefore not restricted by those nice, considerate site regulations. But…but…they DO work on the building itself out of hours! And it does seem a strange promotional pitch that the out-of-hours ‘non-Tesco’ work should go on by folk whose jackets profess; “Tesco’s, No one does more for customers”. Do you think, now that we’ve asked so nicely, that they might do a little less for us out-of-hours?

  11. Alan-a-dale says:

    As I said in a post on my own blog a couple of months ago – http://alanadale.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/more-tesco-stores-for-the-city-better-get-used-to-it/ – anyone who has ever, or who still does, shop at Tesco implicitly supports their continued expansion.

    They wouldn’t keep building shops everywhere if no-one used them. The answer therefore lies with all of us and our individual and collective economic power.

    I use small retailers or, if I must use a supermarket, I go to Lidl or Aldi. These may not be ideal alternatives as all supermarket chains by their very existence threaten the independent retail sector but it doesn’t seem as bad as using Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Morrisons.

    Can I also suggest the expanded Co-op supermarket on Queen’s Road. They may be a bit more expensive but at least they’re ethical.

    On the issue of the ‘Big Tories Tart Here’ poster… the satire surely is that this is actually a poster for the arch-conservative gutter press (the News of the World). Perhaps Anna S should consider moving her surgery to the new Tesco and then a simple arrow could be added to the poster to direct gullible constituents to her door.

  12. Lucie says:

    I agree it’s been an utter nightmare for the last few months and it really wouldnt have taken much for them to build with a little more care and consideration. Crossing the road anywhere near the store or in the standing traffic through the town has been incredibly dangerous, not to mention the mess and mud they leave everywhere.
    As for the fault all being down to customers shopping there, ok partly true, and I won’t be shopping in the new store, but Tesco also have enough clout to keep their prices down, at the expense of farmers’ livelihoods and developing countries’ salaries, but means they attract the very poorest of us to shop with them. Yes we shouldn’t shop there, but people are at the root of it driven by the cost and convenience of what’s available to them. What we also need are some hard rules for how these corporations can operate…but then they clearly had enough power to argue down the government’s proposed competition laws when they tried. I don’t know how you get a corporation that has grown so huge to care about the average Joe without a few laws to restrict their bad practices too.

  13. Michael says:

    Just don’t shop there. I will probably walk past it every other day or so, and I fully intend never to spend a penny in there (well…) I’ve managed without 24 hour shopping in Beeston so far, and I expect I can manage in the future.

    I second Mel – redouble our efforts to support our local shopkeepers.

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