Llandaff community needs to take action over Tesco

June 21, 2010 5 Comments »

A year or so ago, Tesco made a planning application to convert a former bank in my area into one of their Express convenience stores. I do love that word. Convenience. Convenient for whom? There’s already a perfectly good Co-operative shop on the very same street. We don’t need a Tesco here.

A year later, Tesco are at it again. They’ve resubmitted their planning application in spite of their failure in the face of local opposition the last time they tried it.

I’m ready to fight it again. The likes of Tesco are out to destroy the soul of communities like Whitchurch and Llandaff North. If they succeed, all that’ll be left will be a bunch of charity shops and take-aways.

Llandaff North is the closest shopping area to my home. I’m more than happy with the Co-op, which I happen to think is far superior to Tesco in every regard. I opposed the planning proposal last time they tried it and I’ll do so again. Don’t assume that just because only 20 people turned up to the badly-publicised community meeting the other night that the locals aren’t against it. I can show you dozens of my friends who are. Unfortunately some of us have families and can’t come to a public meeting at the drop of a hat. I only found out about the meeting the day before it took place.

Cardiff Council will do their best to avoid notifying local residents about proposed changes such as this. I’m not surprised a lot of people haven’t received the notification: I haven’t.

They tried to turn my street into a conservation area, in spite of the fact that it was already a hotch-potch of different architectural and structural styles. My neighbours and I challenged the council, held them to account and we forced them to back down.

My mother fought the Tesco planning applications in Birchgrove, along with a committed group of residents, and they won too. I’m confident we can win again. The traffic congestion and safety issues in Llandaff North are particularly serious and if the council doesn’t consider them then they are even more incompetent than I thought.

There’s no reason why we can’t win again. Stand up and fight.

This is a guest post from Dan Allsobrook he is a resident of Whitchurch and by day an IT manager in Cardiff. By night I can be found on Twitter @eggynewydd and @gwladrugby and on my blog, Whither Wales. I’m also a member of the editorial team at Gwladrugby.com, the popular and proudly unofficial Welsh rugby fans’ social network.

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  1. David Jones June 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    " I’m more than happy with the Co-op, which I happen to think is far superior to Tesco in every regard."

    If you think that the Co-op offers a much better service and product than Tesco why are you worried about the Tesco store? If you are correct then everyone will keep shopping in the Co-op, Tesco will lose money, and they'll close down. Now I won't argue that (like all businesses), it sometimes loss-leads on items, but it is not in the business of keeping unpopular unused and unprofitable stores open for long periods.

  2. David June 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    It seems to me that either Tesco will do badly and close, or people will shop there over the existing stores. The opening of Tesco, in itself, does not mean people cannot continue to shop as they have before. So if people do change their habbits then it shows they actually prefer Tesco, whether it be in terms of price, quality, or "convenience". Therefore Tesco opening up is a good thing for them.

    For your argument to stack up you have to argue that all the people choosing to switch to Tesco either don't matter, or that they don't know what they really want (and you do), or most charitably, that they don't think through the logic of their actions in shopping at Tesco. I simply don't buy this.

  3. David June 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I like shopping in small independent shops on occasion. Hence, I make a point of shopping in Cardiff's Arcades where and when I can, especially at Christmas. But I also support the opening of larger chain stores in St Davids and the like because they are obviously giving people something they want. If people want to save the independent stores, they'll put their money where their mouth is and spend there – and make an active choice to do so. Its unfair to "force" people to shop in the way you want by denying them the choices that the free market provides.

  4. Dan Allsobrook July 27, 2010 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    I think anyone who chooses Tesco over the Co-op on grounds of product quality or ethics is a complete fool. By your logic, David, there is no harm in Tesco planting its foot in every local high street regardless of the impact on other businesses. To follow this to its obvious conclusion, eventually the only shops which remain will be Tesco. If that's the case, you can kiss goodbye to your quaint little arcades.

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