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Tesco Broadwater

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  1. Tesco Broadwater www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  2. Tonight’s meeting • Chairman: Terry Mitchinson Editor Welwyn Hatfield Times • Presenters: Shaun O’Reilly, Malcolm Day and Will Davis for the Welwyn Garden City Society www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  3. Tesco current application Application submitted 04/10/10 Period for objection ends 03/11/10 www.wgcsoc.org.uk

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  32. Current position of WGC Society An initial analysis www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  33. Overview: in whose interest? • Is this proposal driven by the economic interest of a supermarket… • Or the public interest of our town? • Any agreed development plan should strike the right balance between these factors. www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  34. Our approach • We look at Tesco’s stated opportunities • We look at Tesco’s stated objectives • We touch upon a few facts • We make some comparisons …and we draw some conclusions. www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  35. Tesco’s stated opportunities • New development can link the two sides of the town together • Railway bridge can provide new links and connections across town • “Through the integration of the redevelopment, a new centre will be established to benefit the town as a whole” www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  36. The irritators • Hatifield, Bassemer Road, Park Way, Louis de Soissions; where is Debenhams; Morrisons is in WGC not Hatfield, etc, etc • “a considerable amount of interest in a doctor’s surgery connected to the town centre” • Extra care home www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  37. Tesco’s stated objectives • Overall aim of “proposed retail is intended to enhance the attractiveness of WGC as a retail destination” • Securing the listed buildings • Better linkage to Peartree ward • New homes and new leisure facilities • All within the WGC ethos www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  38. Tesco’s stated conclusions • It will have no adverse effect on town • It will enhance the town centre • It follows the WGC ethos www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  39. Some facts • Tesco store 4,646 m² (gross 8,027m²) • Town’s need for another supermarket not proved • Apparent local dominance issue not addressed • Most customers will come by car • Footbridge length reduced by 30% • Still half a mile walk from Tesco to John Lewis • Town centre retail space increased by 6.4% www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  40. Benefits of edge of town supermarkets • University of Southampton paper says that edge of town supermarkets enhance the attractiveness of town centres as a retail destination • Not with a mainline railway between and a inadequate bridge • The site will remain an island unless it is properly linked www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  41. Challenge to the Council • Everyone was consulted over the plan • Input was invited • Plan now challenged as “unviable” • Viability not raised before • Plan suggests an expensive legal challenge • Financial justification made is incomplete www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  42. Community involvement • Tesco stated its commitment towards consultation and engagement • The current application bears little resemblance to the original outline • The original and only consultation was on regeneration of the site • Little notice has been taken of the original comments from the public • No changes following Development Forum www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  43. Comparison with Sainsbury’s development • WGC Society was involved • Many exchanges of emails • Multiple meetings • Most Society comments, including many involving complete redesign, successfully incorporated. www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  44. The goodies • In the original outline plan the Shredded Wheat production hall contained a 50m swimming pool • The production hall is now the supermarket and the pool has shrunk to a 25m leisure pool • Heritage Museum • YMCA building www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  45. Access to the site • Access to the supermarket enabled by new road • Footbridge over the railway is weakest link • Footbridge is shorter but with a lift www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  46. The bridge: Tesco picture www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  47. The bridge: the reality www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  48. The planned link www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  49. Access (cont) • The other access problem not addressed by the submission is the strip of land between the Tesco site and the railway • There is right of access across the public recreation area to the old BRS site • The current owners are not playing ball on this or the footbridge • We think this is a show stopper www.wgcsoc.org.uk

  50. A flight of fancy www.wgcsoc.org.uk