Tesco has ridden roughshod over residents with store plan

First published in Comment

I’D like to express concern over how Tesco has run roughshod over the residents of Little Lever through the application and planning process of their proposed new Little Lever store.

Tesco had promised open sessions in which residents could offer their opinions on the development. These public forums haven’t materialised.

Instead, Tesco has held open events at St Matthew’s Church house, where they have extolled the virtues of their new development, promising extra ranges for local customers and a promise to target only the shoppers of Little Lever.

Many people left the meeting with ideas of electricals, clothing and household goods being supplied in the new store.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Their application to Bolton Council states that the development will not supply “comparison goods”, namely those product areas stated above.

So, basically, Tesco wants to build a bigger shop to sell more food and drink, cleaning and health and beauty products.

Tesco said in The Bolton News on April 18 that 838 support letters had been received and posted on the council website.

Again, this is a bending of the truth. Some 117 letters of objection have been posted, but the majority of the 838 supposed support comments are postagepaid cards that have been returned to Tesco and then Bolton Council via a Freepost method, asking residents to sign with comments to say they supported the development.

Surely the fair and democratic way to do this would have been for Tesco to give people the choice — but perhaps they were too afraid of the amount of negative feedback they’d receive?

The above mentioned comments cards were delivered as far afield as Darcy Lever, Breightmet.

Therefore, Tesco’s assertion they were targeting the customers of Little Lever was a lie — they want to bring as many people as possible into Little Lever to shop in their new grocery-only store.

The impact on the roads of the area will be catastrophic, not just because of the increased traffic, but also because of the three puffin crossings they’re planning to install on an already busy and dangerous junction. The new road plans will likely divert traffic down the residential areas of the Racecourse Estate, Dearden Street and Tong Road, causing more problems for families — especially those with children who play there.

Finally, a new Tesco will destroy most of the remaining retail business in the local area.

Footfall will be dragged away from the village centre down to the bottom of the High Street on to a disused piece of land.

Tesco don’t care what Little Lever residents want or need, they care only of increasing their sales, their profit margins and ultimately shareholder dividends.

Lee Jacob Little Lever

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