Pakefield Tesco store controversy to rumble on with another meeting at Lowestoft Town Hall

A protest outside Lowestoft Town Hall for a previous planning meeting about Tesco's plans for  the Tramway Hotel A protest outside Lowestoft Town Hall for a previous planning meeting about Tesco's plans for the Tramway Hotel

Saturday, August 9, 2014
2:48 PM

Councillors are to be given yet another chance to try to stop Tesco going ahead with its controversial plans to open a new store in Pakefield.

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On Tuesday night, Waveney District Council’s development control committee will once again be voting on the long-running saga about converting the Tramway Hotel in London Road into a Tesco Express store.

Next week’s meeting will be looking at a bid by the anti-Tesco campaigners to have the Tramway certified as a mixed use building comprising of a pub and hotel –meaning Tesco will have to submit a full planning application if it wants to go ahead with its plans.

However, the bid by Pakefield Opposing Tesco (POT) has been dealt a blow by Waveney as a planning report to be discussed on Tuesday says members of the development control committee should reject the campaign group’s certificate of lawful existing use application.

The report says that the committee should ignore the fact that there are rooms to let at the Tramway Hotel as they are only “ancillary” to the current A4 public house use.

The council officers’ opinion that the Tramway should just have A4 status, meaning Tesco does not need full planning permission, has led to the chairman of POT Bob Blizzard urging residents of Pakefield to attend Tuesday’s meeting so councillors can see how strong the feeling is against the proposed Tesco store.

Mr Blizzard, who has also organised POT protests outside Lowestoft Town Hall ahead of meetings, said: “We have submitted compelling evidence that the Tramway is what nearly everyone in Pakefield knows it to be – a hotel and pub. All this is backed up by a legal opinion from a top planning barrister.

We need another big turnout at the Town Hall to make sure the message hits home.

“Planning officers are clinging to an argument that the accommodation is only ancillary to the pub, but the figures show the hotel side is a viable business in its own right, not pin money on the side.

“Councillors on the planning committee now have another opportunity to re-state the view that a majority of them took previously. If they do so they will be in tune with the overwhelming majority of Pakefield residents who know the Tramway well.”

In April, the development control committee had gone against legal advice presented to the council and had voted in favour of the Tramway being designated as mixed use, even though councillors were told it could open the way for a legal challenge from Tesco.

The change of mixed use motion, which had been proposed by Gareth Douce, councillor for Kirkley, was then thrown out by a full council meeting at the end of April after a tight vote of 23-22 in favour of following the legal advice about the Tramway’s status.

Sonia Barker, councillor for Pakefield, had voiced her opposition to Tesco’s plan at previous meetings and intends to speak before the development control committee on Tuesday night.

She said: “This is such a really important issue for the Pakefield community. We want the proper planning decision made, that is the key thing point here.”

Normally a certificate of lawful existing use are decided by council planning officers under delegated powers, however Waveney planning papers say that “given the level of public interest in this premises and its recent planning history, the application has been referred to the council for determination”.

However in recommending the committee reject POT’s bid the report adds: “After consideration of all the evidence submitted in support of the application, it is officers’ opinion that the premises falls within the A4 public house use notwithstanding the fact that there is an ancillary element of the business that consists of letting the rooms on the first floor and specifically does not comprise a mixed use of A4 and C1 uses, or indeed a primary C1 hotel use.”

Tesco first unveiled its plans for the Tramway 21 months ago leading to concerns the store would adversely impact on nearby shops and cause traffic problems.

The long-running saga has seen a series of meetings at Waveney, two barristers provide legal advice on the pros and cons on the Tramway status, a petition collected with the names of 2,500 people opposed to the store and a successful bid last month by POT to get the Tramway Hotel listed as asset of community value, meaning it could be purchased by the community the building is put up for sale.

Tesco says the store would create 20 jobs and will benefit the local economy. The supermarket chain has already been given planning permission by the development control committee to carry out two extensions to the Tramway.

Pot is urging people to protest outside Lowestoft Town Hall from 5.30pm on Tuesday.

21 comments

  • See other EDP article http:www.edp24.co.uknewscall_for_change_in_planning_laws_to_stop_pubs_being_converted_into_food_stores_1_3723236

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    MickB1

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • Dogberry...why would I want to go to a meeting to voice my feeling...NO intention of doing that when I agree with Tesco. The only people that will be there are the Anti-Tesco that have noting better to do (until something else comes along to have a moan at)

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    MickB1

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • RedBaron ........."And that's the way the cookie Crumbles" It's called Business...! That's the way it is.

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    MickB1

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • The Tramway is an important heritage building that should remain as a hotel and public house. It has existed for over 100 years and has many original features. It should be listed as a community asset and orlisted to protect it. Another supermarket when there are already Spar and the Coop. If Tesco are successful at least one will close and then we'll have an empty building - no extra jobs in that! Tesco aren't that cheap anyway and there fresh produce is not the best. Well done for standing up to a company that does little for local communities.

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    cw3

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Unfortunately this is not really a planning argument (or at least not a legitimate one), it is much more a political and a general anti-Tesco argument. I understand the frustrations of some of the locals as this is one of the few opportunities they get to vent their opinions and views, it's just such a shame that the forum is not the right one and they are being selfishly hyped up and mislead. Many of the planning comments are completely irrelevant and therefore the council have to ignore them. The property certainly isn't a hotel or even mixed use. PubsInns by definition have accommodation for guests upstairs and the trading history in recent years is very clear that this is a pub with rooms, not a hotel with a bar or half and half. I know some people are desperate to prove otherwise and are manipulating the figures as best they can, but it should not change the facts. The councillors are under great pressure to bow down to POT and may well buckle as they did before, but if Tesco have the appetite for the fight then this only has one outcome. POT cannot change the law. If Tesco do decide enough is enough, then I'm sure this will be seen as a great victory for POT and Bob will be the king of Pakefield, but soon after people will forget, the pub will continue to fall into decline and ultimately be sold for housing (the CAV listing will not have an effect). Some laws are in place to protect mob rule deciding who is allowed to trade in certain places and who isn't, if POT succeed then these laws have been flaunted and I'm afraid the victory will leave a bitter taste to those who believe in free trade. A dangerous precedent will be set.

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    Jay

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Keep up the fight but sadly I'm not sure you will change the inevitable, we used to live in an extremely wealthy part of Cambridge and despite an extensive fight involving many extremely wealthy and powerful people who lived in the village...we still got a Tesco.... The problem with Tesco, as with all the other chains is they will open within close proximity to competing shops and those chains operate on a policy of profit per store multiplied by the number of stores it owns, essentially even if they only make 500 quid a week profit per store it doesn't matter as you multiply that by the hundreds of stores they have and then it's very profitable. They will open next to existing businesses as it saves them having to do any hard work to build a new client base, they then know that most people will try out the new store out of curiosity, then calculate the percentage of business they can steal from the other businesses and if that projection seems reasonable, then they open, partly to keep out other companies but mainly as they know it will severely affect surrounding businesses and then drive more business to them, remember, they don't open because there's suddenly more houses being built or an influx of new people demanding more shops, no, they open to steal business from others. Most importantly, Tesco realised that the smaller high street stores it owns are by far the most profitable, it now has an aggressive policy of descending onto more and more high streets rather than face the expenditure of building massive supermarkets which involve huge financial "backhanders" to the local council and yes they are bribes, let's be honest. The next problem is the extortionate rents and rates levied on small local businesses, from greedy landlords and agents and then greedy councils who refuse to re-assess rateable values from the outrageous pre-recession levels to more realistic post-recession figures, this contributes to the ludicrous high overheads faced by any small business today and that puts said small business in a precarious situation 247....then when a Tesco etc opens nearby, the small business simply can't make enough to survive. As for the comments about it all being the fault of internet shopping, well, you clearly are devoid of facts andor common sense, the internet makes very little difference to the high street, what makes the difference is the same over-priced rentsrates and stupid demands the GOVT. makes on small businesses..... all the little companies like independent record shops, kids shoe shops, cafe's, little garages for petrol and services, the old chippy, the little book shops, the department stores that towns had, hardware stores etc. etc. etc....all driven out and killed, not because of lack of demand, no, but by senseless greedy landlords and councils who are ultimately in the pocket of big companies, much like our government...... So fight like hell and I hope you win but remember, don't moan at Tesco...moan and complain like there's no tomorrow to the council and the landlords, they are the real culprits....

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    RedBaron

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

  • Loading and unloading is allowed on double yellow lines at any time, unless there are additional markings indicating that there are 'loading restrictions'. I think you will find that unloading at these stores will take place at the rear of the building anyway taking away the bus stop and walking route to a school. Actually for a store the rear parking is vast looking at it on Google around 15-20 cars (there are already three in the car park in Google as a scale to work to) HOTEL…hardly the sign at the side says & B&B (Glorified) You have Major problems in General with Tesco and that’s the only reason you aren’t happy, Are you an ex Tesco employee with a grievance ? When this Tesco opens I bet you will all shop there …Watch this space..!

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    MickB1

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

  • @MickB1 – If you were a local resident you would know that The Tramway has not “closed its doors”. It is still very much functioning as a pub and a hotel, in fact visiting family members have stayed there last week. If you were to visit the building you would see posters advertising forthcoming events. Your assumptions about traffic problems, based on your Google study are incorrect. The car park is not vast. There are double yellow lines on the road, but they do not prevent lorries parking there to deliver, and experience at other similar locations shows that they are ignored by car drivers who are confident that they'll get away with parking for five or ten minutes. Unfortunately unless there is targeted enforcement they usually do. This is a busy pedestrian and walk-to-school route with a bus stop in front of the building.

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    point du jour

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

  • Dogberry. Why should I be at all interested in your alernates to another shop when I see no problem with another shop. Also why on earth would I want to attend an Anti Tesco gathering to voice my opinion to the closed mind tescophobes. You have already made your decision and won't listen to anyone else. Well one of us is certainly ignorant !! MickB1 The argument about parking at the new store is totally laughable compared to the mayhem caused by the parking at Spar. To cap it all I was stuck on Pakefield St for nearly 10 mins as the Spar truck tried to squeeze its way down to the shop bewtween the parked cars either side causing gridlock

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    Hari

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

  • I have a few points to make: 1.Why in the first place did the pub close its doors, I guess a struggling business not making much in the way of profits, and therefore suggests a lack of tradebusiness, SO where was the community support when it needed it the most? Obviously not there, ultimately suggesting the community didn’t care. 2.Why oppose a General convenience store when they can offer much more choice, better prices. 3. Some say it will have an effect on local businesses and will lead to closures, Why? If their prices are not over inflated and are in competition it won’t 4. You say (other website articles on the net) it will lead to more traffic parking outside the store and will be dangerous. but looking on Google maps there is a huge car park at the back, also what are those I see painted on the road “Double Yellow Lines” so that argument is lost..No problem with parking then. My conclusion is that YES it’s just another Anti-Tesco protest with a community that failed in the past when this pub needed them most. point du jour……I read that you have in the past been an active member for Anti-Tesco protests in other parts of East Angila, probably meaning your interests are solely Anti-Tesco and not for the good of the community in Pakefield.

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    MickB1

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

  • Looking forward to listening to YesToWind&Solar and Hari and MickB1 voicing their feelings on Tuesday - that's assuming they have thoroughly researched exactly what the Pakefield Opposing Tesco Group propose as an alternative to another supermarket - or are you as ignorant as you sound?

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    Dogberry

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Yes it sounds like a working class area……oh we have to have our pub for a big booze up and get Pi***d. Just Anti-Tesco make me sick.!

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    YesToWind&Solar

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • This Tescophobia I find amusing. I want shops that can offer me the best price and service. If the locals love their shops so much why would they migrate to the undercutting Tescos, causing them to close. Your shhoting yourself in the foot !!

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    Hari

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Tesco are not needed or wanted here. The locals love the existing shops & don't want them threatened by Tesco. This is not simply a case of competition or commerce- Tesco will carry out a war to undercut local competition until they're the only one left standing, regardless of how much trade a new store there acheives. They are just not a nice buisness. Pakefield people also want to keep their pub a pub.

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    Frank

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • I can’t see what the problem is here, there is nothing wrong with competition, it’s healthy and unfortunately that’s what you call business (Deal with it). It sounds like to local’s want to just have a pub…surely there is better things to do than just sitting in a pub drinking alcohol…unless this area is your typical working class. Having a Tesco with offer more choice and maybe better prices to the locals. Tesco sounds a great idea to me. “Saving the Tramway” it’s just another “Anti Tesco Campaign” and that’s all it is, nothing whatsoever about what’s good for the community.

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    MickB1

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Thankyou for your invite. But please explain why the local shops don't fancy competition. If they are offering the best service and prices, what had they got to be worried about?? If the residence don't like Tesco, then they don't have to shop there. If Tesco can't make a profit they'll soon go somewhere else. And yes I live in Pakefield !!

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    Hari

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • @Hari - Since you don't understand the issue, might I suggest that you use the Journal archive to do some background reading before posting your comment?

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    point du jour

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • I really can't understand what all this fuss is about. Why are the Pakefield shops worrid about some competition and why do the residence.

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    Hari

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • my sentiments exactly Peter.

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    jenny

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • the creation of 20 new jobs is a joke as there will be loss of jobs by staff at other Pakefield shops and possibly we will see businesses closing. We have a Spar and a Co op. We do not need a Tesco!

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    Rosie Corby-Marler

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • peter waller

    Friday, August 8, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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