Campaign stepped up against fourth Tesco for Lowestoft area in Pakefield
13:43 22 February 2013
The campaign against controversial plans for a new Tesco store in Pakefield was stepped up this week.
The supermaket giant wants to turn the Tramway Hotel on London Road into a new Tesco Express store – prompting concerns that it would affect exiting businesses in the area.
In their fight against the plans, members of the Pakefield Opposed to Tesco campaign (POT) are canvassing the views of people living within 500m of the proposed store and asking them to put up “No Tesco at Tramway” posters in their windows.
They say Pakefield does not want or need the store – which would be the fourth Tesco in the Lowestoft area.
But as the campaign gathered pace this week, it emerged that the pub’s owner, Enterprise Inns, was still examining if it might be possible to carry out a “change of use” to turn the building into a Tesco Express without submitting a full planning application to Waveney District Council.
Bob Blizzard, who has been asked to become chairman of POT, said the survey and poster campaign was being carried out to test Tesco’s claim that its store would aim to serve an area within a 500m radius.
Mr Blizzard said: “We’ve hardly found anyone who wants Tesco at the Tramway.
“We have so far succeeded in pressing Waveney to insist that Tesco should apply for planning permission for change of use.
“If and when they do, we will present the results of our survey to councillors as evidence.
“All the indications are that the message to Tesco and councillors will be a resounding ‘no’.”
As previously reported, Waveney has classified the Tramway as premises with “mixed use” as a pub and hotel – meaning a planning application is needed to change it into a shop.
If it had been classified as a pub, a planning application would not have been needed.
Waveney has challenged Enterprise Inns to produce evidence showing why it does not consider the premises to be of mixed use.
It is understood the company is now seeking additional information on the pub’s status.
When asked about the anti-Tesco campaign, a Tesco spokesman said: “Our Express stores are exceptionally popular with customers and local communities. Our stores bring jobs for local people and an increase in trade for shopping areas”