Tesco and Sainsbury’s seeking to reverse their superstore failures and fight it out on London Road
Tesco is developing 1 Clifton Road and Sainsbury’s has secured all permissions for 459 London Road Isleworth.
Soon after May 2014’s election, a couple of early cases featured Tesco Stores Limited; not the confident and connected market leader Hounslow had to deal with when their superstore expansion meant five giant sheds were built in the borough in the early 1990s.
One Tesco attempt was to wake their neighbours up really early morning by seeking to change their Syon Lane store opening hours from 8.00 am to 6.00 am. I felt that the council’s planners were going to allow this but I was able to get it on to the Planning Committee agenda for its 31 July 2014 meeting with the aim of getting its members to reject Tesco’s application.
Tesco felt that because their competitors (Sainsbury’ Ealing and ASDA Hounslow) had longer opening hours so should they. When Tesco caught wind of the referral and sturdy objections from Osterely & Wyke Green Residents Association, their planning consultant called with an offer to amend its application to a 7.00 am start.
Both OWGRA’s Mr Basil Mann and I spoke about traffic build up and noise from early deliveries and chanced it with calling for a whole rejection of their application. To some extent and better than a 6.00 am start, it was proposed that opening hours be amended to 7.00 am which was agreed by the meeting: 3 in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions.
Tesco’s second incursion began before the May 2014 elections when it secured the retail rights to the once Ketts and more recently ARK Heating at 1 Clifton Road, Isleworth by the fire station. Potentially doubling the weekly opening hours of the former occupier. This was approved (under delegated authority on 26 April 2014) by the council’s planners. The delegated report can be found here: and the decision here.
Residents who made contact with me were (and still are) concerned with the traffic and parking impact around Clifton and Villiers Roads as well as how the store would be serviced and the potential for anti social behaviour and increased street drinking generated from 14 hours a day trading at another outlet .
People both in the neighbourhood and beyond were also exercised by Tesco’s obvious and obligatory drinks licence application to sell alcohol from 7.00 am to 11.00 pm. A number of residents, the police, the council’s licensing manager, the other two ward councillors and I put objections forward at the Licensing Panel called to hear the application on 22 July 2014. We were concerned with a licence being given to yet another drinks outlet (now 20+) on or near the London Road which itself could encourage early morning sales, further street drinking, anti social behaviour and under aged sales
Unfortunately the panel, following assurances from Tesco and legal advice from a council lawyer agreed the application albeit for an 8.00 am start rather than at 7.00 am.
Tesco has now secured all permissions and appears to be going ahead with its development. No opening date is set.
The issue of traffic impact on the Clifton Road neighbourhood remains an unresolved issue. At the 3 July 2014 Isleworth & Brentford Forum, when considering a review of the South Spring Grove CPZ, I asked for and it was agreed that Hounslow’s traffic officers should review the existing single yellow lines in the vicinity of the new Tesco store at 1 Clifton Road, and that access and traffic issues be brought back to IBAF to take account of the outcome of the licensing process for Tesco at 1 Clifton Road. I have since visited the streets with the traffic team’s Anthony Robinson to explain the need for a small area traffic scheme to prevent shopper parking in Clifton and Villiers Road, a scheme is expected as is the return to IBAF.
Minutes of 3.7.2014 IBAF (Item 7) can be found here. Comments would be welcome. TL 24.3.2015