Campaigners braced for fresh fight against Tesco's Tolworth plans

Campaigners are readying themselves for a fresh fight after Tesco submitted a revised plan for a giant superstore.

The supermarket chain bowed to public pressure and withdrew an application to develop on the old Toby Jug site in Tolworth in April 2010 – but submitted a revised plan this week.

Surbiton and Kingston MP Edward Davey, who led the opposition to the last application, has been joined by campaigners and traders in vowing to fight the plans.

Tesco said they have consulted with Transport for London on the impact on traffic, nearly halved the proposed size of the store and promised more than 250 jobs.

But the proposal has failed to impress Mr Davey (below) who said the scheme does not take into consideration the effect on the A3 roundabout.

He said: “From what I can see the plans do not look significantly different from the one we fought against in 2010.

"I am bitterly disappointed that, despite widespread opposition from residents last time, Tesco has failed to offer up anything significantly different.

"Despite the reduction in size it is still a large supermarket, there are still not enough affordable family homes and above all this proposal still fails to understand the effect on traffic on the Tolworth roundabout.”

The company argue the development would strengthen Tolworth’s position as a shopping destination, improve connections across Tolworth roundabout and attract new retailers.

However, some traders fear loss of business and residents fear the creation of a “Tesco town”.

Tony Fletcher, corporate affairs manager at Tesco, said: “Following the public consultation we undertook last autumn it was clear that, where people had concerns, they focused on traffic and highways.

“We have put a lot of work into analysing the road network and have come up with proposals for a set of improvements – which we will pay for – so that the network can accommodate the additional usage and shorten average journey times.”

Councillor Vicki Harris (below) campaigned against the plans alongside groups such as No to Tesco in 2009.

She will play no part in the decision making as she lives close to the site and is deemed to have a prejudicial interest, but has vowed to fight the application.

She said: “Tesco have learned nothing from last time round. They seem intent on banging their heads against the wall.”

Reaction Traders along Tolworth Broadway were split over Tesco’s plans for a new superstore, with some struggling shop owners planning to campaign against the bid and others claiming it will attract new customers to the area.

Najid Al Hashim, who runs Rose Cafe and Bakery, said he expected trade to drop off by about 20-30 per cent if the application was successful.

And Siva Ruban, manager of Best Foods, said he would be writing to the council to protest.

He said: "If Tesco comes here it will be bad for business. All the shops on this road will lose out.”

However, Golsa Ameri, from Scope charity shop, disagreed and said a new supermarket and gym would be positive for Tolworth.

She said: “It will bring more customers to the area and it will increase my sales, plus Tesco’s prices are cheaper than M&S and Iceland so we could have good quality at a cheaper price.”

Callum Ripley, manager of Charles Sirrell and Sons hardware and DIY store, also welcomed the news and said a new superstore would bring in extra customers.

He said: “It won’t affect us so much because Tesco doesn’t really sell the same things that we do, apart from light bulbs. Hopefully, Tesco would be a good thing.”

People living close to the planned development fear their voices will be lost in the clamour from shoppers for a convenient new superstore.

Councillor Rolson Davies (right), who lives opposite the proposed site, criticised Tesco for trying to whip up support for the site from residents outside Tolworth.

He said: “They talk of support for the plans and of course people living in places like Epsom and Long Ditton will be rather pleased about having a convenient superstore just down the A3.

“But those most adversely affected by this development, people who live in Tolworth, will have to live with this horrible Tesco town on our doorstep.”

Christy Campbell, who lives in neighbouring Sunray Road, said shoppers would stop coming to the Broadway if Tesco was built.

She said: “Tesco will drive small business on the Broadway to ruin because they simply can’t cut prices like Tesco.”

Alison Cosgrove, of Elgar Avenue, echoed these concerns and said she hoped the application would be refused.

Comments (6)

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12:31pm Fri 15 Jun 12

Maria59 says...

The shop managers/owners who think that Tescos will bring new customers are mistaken. The same thing was said about M&S, and it just didn't happen. The fact is people arrive at these places in a car, do their shopping and then leave.They never step outside the confines of the shop & car park. They just don't cross major roads to get to shops that, although they can provide everything they could possibly want, they have no interest in.
The shop managers/owners who think that Tescos will bring new customers are mistaken. The same thing was said about M&S, and it just didn't happen. The fact is people arrive at these places in a car, do their shopping and then leave.They never step outside the confines of the shop & car park. They just don't cross major roads to get to shops that, although they can provide everything they could possibly want, they have no interest in. Maria59
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Fri 15 Jun 12

UKIP Surbiton says...

If only people could shop in Tolworth using their car . Most head for the Marks car park , which as you all know gets full fairly quickly . Whilst the new Tesco no doubt will kill off a lot of trade in Tolworth the real issue should be what can Local politicians actually do to help the shops and people of Tolworth . We will shortly get the ping pong comments of Lib Dems and Tories opposing the Tesco plans . But why not instead lets hear some ideas about how to get people into Tolworth , shopping in Tolworth and back home again . The Lib Dem Greenway will cause hell in a very small place and if the lessons of their New Malden High St project have not been learnt the consequences will linger on and on .
The Tesco scheme is a poor one , its not needed .... being a few minutes from the Uber new Malden store . The new site would cause just more traffic congestion on what is already one of the most polluted road junctions in Europe . We urgently need to see some leadership from RBK and the Lib Dems who run it .
If only people could shop in Tolworth using their car . Most head for the Marks car park , which as you all know gets full fairly quickly . Whilst the new Tesco no doubt will kill off a lot of trade in Tolworth the real issue should be what can Local politicians actually do to help the shops and people of Tolworth . We will shortly get the ping pong comments of Lib Dems and Tories opposing the Tesco plans . But why not instead lets hear some ideas about how to get people into Tolworth , shopping in Tolworth and back home again . The Lib Dem Greenway will cause hell in a very small place and if the lessons of their New Malden High St project have not been learnt the consequences will linger on and on . The Tesco scheme is a poor one , its not needed .... being a few minutes from the Uber new Malden store . The new site would cause just more traffic congestion on what is already one of the most polluted road junctions in Europe . We urgently need to see some leadership from RBK and the Lib Dems who run it . UKIP Surbiton
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Fri 15 Jun 12

JPR says...

These local politicians do not seem to care very much of the people who voted for them. Do they feel smarter? Do they only do what their party leaders ask them to do ignoring the local people.
I wonder why we vote sometimes.
These local politicians do not seem to care very much of the people who voted for them. Do they feel smarter? Do they only do what their party leaders ask them to do ignoring the local people. I wonder why we vote sometimes. JPR
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Fri 15 Jun 12

kelliep1970 says...

UKIP Surbiton wrote:
If only people could shop in Tolworth using their car . Most head for the Marks car park , which as you all know gets full fairly quickly . Whilst the new Tesco no doubt will kill off a lot of trade in Tolworth the real issue should be what can Local politicians actually do to help the shops and people of Tolworth . We will shortly get the ping pong comments of Lib Dems and Tories opposing the Tesco plans . But why not instead lets hear some ideas about how to get people into Tolworth , shopping in Tolworth and back home again . The Lib Dem Greenway will cause hell in a very small place and if the lessons of their New Malden High St project have not been learnt the consequences will linger on and on .
The Tesco scheme is a poor one , its not needed .... being a few minutes from the Uber new Malden store . The new site would cause just more traffic congestion on what is already one of the most polluted road junctions in Europe . We urgently need to see some leadership from RBK and the Lib Dems who run it .
couldnt have put it better myself :)
[quote][p][bold]UKIP Surbiton[/bold] wrote: If only people could shop in Tolworth using their car . Most head for the Marks car park , which as you all know gets full fairly quickly . Whilst the new Tesco no doubt will kill off a lot of trade in Tolworth the real issue should be what can Local politicians actually do to help the shops and people of Tolworth . We will shortly get the ping pong comments of Lib Dems and Tories opposing the Tesco plans . But why not instead lets hear some ideas about how to get people into Tolworth , shopping in Tolworth and back home again . The Lib Dem Greenway will cause hell in a very small place and if the lessons of their New Malden High St project have not been learnt the consequences will linger on and on . The Tesco scheme is a poor one , its not needed .... being a few minutes from the Uber new Malden store . The new site would cause just more traffic congestion on what is already one of the most polluted road junctions in Europe . We urgently need to see some leadership from RBK and the Lib Dems who run it .[/p][/quote]couldnt have put it better myself :) kelliep1970
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Thu 21 Jun 12

tolworthman says...

I live right off the broadway and want Tesco to build! Tolworth needs a decent supermarket, and don't tell me there are to many Tesco's as Sainbury's dominates the area. I'm sure the broadways shops will survive, there customers walk there and are a different clientele to large a supermarkets drivers. The Tesco/Esso petrol station is constant chaos and proves that we need a better larger supermarket
I live right off the broadway and want Tesco to build! Tolworth needs a decent supermarket, and don't tell me there are to many Tesco's as Sainbury's dominates the area. I'm sure the broadways shops will survive, there customers walk there and are a different clientele to large a supermarkets drivers. The Tesco/Esso petrol station is constant chaos and proves that we need a better larger supermarket tolworthman
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Wed 27 Jun 12

SunrayJohnny says...

This is excellent news, just what Tolworth needs. If ever there was an area that would benefit from a Tesco's it's the increasingly run down area we have to live in. Benefits are plentiful and will include the provision of a decent supermarket so residents will not have to drive to New Malden, Epsom etc. This will in turn actually reduce the traffic and pollution caused by the (at least) 6 mile round trip the vast majority of residents in Tolworth have to make to find a decent shop. Tesco's will provide long needed employment opportunities in the area. It will extend the 281 bus route to the station. It will provide an incentive for people to visit the Broadway rather than simply drive on through or past. It will provide a decent sized car park in the vicinity.

Regarding the suggestion traffic and pollution will be an issue - TFL suggested in their original response to the scheme that they estimate approx 95% of the traffic using the shop is actually already on the road (probably making longer journeys). Also I would ask - where were the traffic and pollution objections when London United buses set up a garage in Tolworth for 100 buses? When London concrete got planning permission for their site including up to 50 daily 10 tonne cement mixers and a 300 odd tonne daily (return) cargo train? Or even when the beloved M&S store expanded their floor space and car parking. It was all quiet then....

As regards the impact on current retailers, there is absolutely nothing to stop current shoppers and those against Tesco from continuing their normal patterns of shopping - but a further increase of shops shutting, empty units, charity shops, cafe's and barbers which is fine of course, but note that this trend started long before Tesco's even owned the site. People reluctance to shop in Tolworth is deep rooted and more aligned to the distinct lack of a supermarket and inability to park in the area. Tesco's will improve on both these issues.

Actually living in the area and speaking to residents, parents at children's schools and in local groups I attend the overwhelming opinion I hear is positive towards a major company actually willing to invest in Tolworth. About time too, and investment that we as a community should embrace and work with the help to improve our community.
This is excellent news, just what Tolworth needs. If ever there was an area that would benefit from a Tesco's it's the increasingly run down area we have to live in. Benefits are plentiful and will include the provision of a decent supermarket so residents will not have to drive to New Malden, Epsom etc. This will in turn actually reduce the traffic and pollution caused by the (at least) 6 mile round trip the vast majority of residents in Tolworth have to make to find a decent shop. Tesco's will provide long needed employment opportunities in the area. It will extend the 281 bus route to the station. It will provide an incentive for people to visit the Broadway rather than simply drive on through or past. It will provide a decent sized car park in the vicinity. Regarding the suggestion traffic and pollution will be an issue - TFL suggested in their original response to the scheme that they estimate approx 95% of the traffic using the shop is actually already on the road (probably making longer journeys). Also I would ask - where were the traffic and pollution objections when London United buses set up a garage in Tolworth for 100 buses? When London concrete got planning permission for their site including up to 50 daily 10 tonne cement mixers and a 300 odd tonne daily (return) cargo train? Or even when the beloved M&S store expanded their floor space and car parking. It was all quiet then.... As regards the impact on current retailers, there is absolutely nothing to stop current shoppers and those against Tesco from continuing their normal patterns of shopping - but a further increase of shops shutting, empty units, charity shops, cafe's and barbers which is fine of course, but note that this trend started long before Tesco's even owned the site. People reluctance to shop in Tolworth is deep rooted and more aligned to the distinct lack of a supermarket and inability to park in the area. Tesco's will improve on both these issues. Actually living in the area and speaking to residents, parents at children's schools and in local groups I attend the overwhelming opinion I hear is positive towards a major company actually willing to invest in Tolworth. About time too, and investment that we as a community should embrace and work with the help to improve our community. SunrayJohnny
  • Score: 0

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