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Friday, March 28, 2008

The Tesco Stores Limited and Knowsley MBC Objections


Due to a number of enquiries received concerning the article (published 26/03/08) that revealed the Secretary of State's decisions in regards to the North West Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), and in particular a handful of e-mails suggesting that Tesco Stores Limited or indeed Knowsley MBC neither had the power nor the will to attempt to change policy within the RSS. KEIOC felt a follow up article, that confirms both Tesco Stores Limited and Knowsley MBC made representations, between November 2006 and February 2007, to the EIP Panel in an attempt to change crucial regional policy was called for. Were these representations to the EIP Panel made as an attempt to add extra weight to the as yet to be revealed 'Destination Kirkby' proposal?

The following are the actual objections made to the EIP Panel to specific policies within the draft RSS from Tesco Stores Limited and Knowsley MBC. All of which were subsequently rejected by the Secretary of State in March 2008. 

The KEIOC group would ask all Evertonians to read the objections made by Tesco Stores Limited and Knowsley MBC in conjunction with the relevant article "Tesco/Everton Development Proposal Dealt Severe Blow By Secretary of State" and to simply come to their own conclusions.

Respondent; Tesco Stores Limited
Policy Title; Settlement Hierarchy
Policy No. Table 7.1
Description; Object

Investment in the key urban areas should not be at the expense of smaller towns not being able to meet essential needs locally. Provision of key facilities, such as main food shopping facilities, are essential in smaller towns to allow all residents access to such facilities, reduce social exclusion and reduce the need for people to travel much further afield to access such stores. suggest inclusion of the following text at the beginning of paragraph 7.2: The proposed settlement hierarchy for the North West is set out in Table 7.1. This provides a broad indication of where different settlements lie in the retail hierarchy at present and provides a broad basis for the encouragement of investment in the respective centres. In considering policies at the local level, however, it should be remembered that settlements change over time. In addition it should be recognised that the specific needs of a settlement need to be assessed in the context of individual application proposals in a settlement. The retail hierarchy therefore provides a guide to future investment rather than to be applied in an overly prescriptive manner. Walkden is designated as a Town Centre within both the adopted and emerging Salford Unitary Development Plan, it is situated on the junction of the A6 and the A575 and is served by its own railway station. Walkden provides key employment, retail and transport services for a population of approximately 55,000 people. As a result, it meets the criteria for definition as a Key Service Centre and should be included in the RSS accordingly.

Respondent; Tesco Stores Limited
Policy Title Retail Development
Policy No. W5
Description; Object

The emphasis is very much on comparison retailing and does not refer to convenience retailing. Clearly the latter is an important part of the overall retail sector and particularly pertinent in ensuring that people's day to day and weekly food shopping needs are met in a sustainable way. In general terms it underplays the importance of retail development in creating sustainable communities. Suggest some caution in the use of the phrase “….investment should be consistent with the scale and function of the centre”. In our view consideration should also be given to the area the centre seeks to serve. The list of centres in the policy are a selection from Table 7.1 and do not include all the Regional Towns and Cities and includes 1 of the KSCs (Kendal). Consider that other centres such as Workington, Whitehaven, Wigton, Ulverston and Keswick in Cumbria should all be encouraged to attract enhanced retailing facilities. Table 3.22 in the Technical Appendix includes Widnes, but this is not included in W5. Whilst recognising that the retail sector must be open to all including the large multiples and the independent traders, there is nothing in PPS6 that suggests that preference should be given to proposals which would “particularly increase the number of independent retailers. Policy does not support particular emphasis be given to all independent retailers over multiple or larger retailers irrespective of their offer or quality of service. This does not encourage a competitive and innovate retail sector and is at odds with the objectives of PPS6. (for detailed comments and proposed amendments see original response)

Respondent; Tesco Stores Limited
Policy Title; Liverpool City Centre and Surrounding Inner Area of the Liverpool City Region
Policy No. LCR2
Description; Object

As with Manchester the emphasis is very much on encouraging new investment in housing in these areas and the economic, social and environmental revival of the inner areas. The success of such a strategy and the encouragement of new communities developing the inner areas must be accompanied by provision of an appropriate range and type of facilities, including retail facilities, to meet the needs of those growing populations. Provision of new or expanded centres in appropriate locations should be encouraged to help meet the food shopping needs of those new and expanding communities Include under one of the bullet points - • Provision of an appropriate level of shopping facilities to meet the needs of the expanding residential communities near where they live. A similar point to that above applies to Policy LCR3.

Respondent; Knowsley Council
Policy Title; Settlement Hierarchy
Policy No. Table 7.1
Description; Object

Hierarchy of settlements: ‘Key Service Centres' lists only Burscough, Ormskirk and Neston. Service centres such as Kirkby, Prescot, Huyton and Halewood do not feature in the retail hierarchy, yet are of crucial importance to the local communities and need to be enhanced through regeneration initiatives Suggested change: Include reference to service centres such as Kirkby, Prescot, Huyton and Halewood in the provisions of Policy RDF2 and address this in the further research commissioned by the NWRA to address this issue.

The representations made by both public and private sector bodies to the EIP Panel, between November 2006 and February 2007 can be found at: northwesteip.co.uk/home/default.aspx.

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