A unique area featuring street art from vintage Banksy
to up-to-the-minute street art attracting visitors from far and wide including Italian food blogger, Jasmine.
“93% of local people say NO to Tesco in Stokes Croft,” says the fresh notice on Stokes Croft’s creative response to street drinking, Turbo Island.
How many Tescos does a city need? There are already 38 Tescos in Bristol according to Tesco – and two within five minutes of the proposed site.
Tesco picked the wrong place to wield its corporate takeover of the high street when it set its sights on the eighteenth-century building at 138-142 Cheltenham Road in Stokes Croft.
Using an intermediary (to deflect suspicion?), it bought the lease on Jesters comedy club and applied for change-of-use to shop in November 2009.
Apparently, one Bristol City councillor said: had he known it was Tesco applying, he would not have agreed. But the application got passed, unnoticed.
Thus Tesco infiltrated the heartland of Stokes Croft, as part of its taking advantage of the recession master-plan. What a double-win for Tesco: cheapness and take-over. The more shops Tesco has, the less competition.
Local shops cannot compete against a supermarket’s marketing millions. Hello supermarket means goodbye local family businesses.
Stokes Croft happens to bring together a powerful group of people: freethinkers, food activists and artists. The area’s independent shops offer a wealth of cultural diversity and quality food – including a long-established Italian delicatessen and organic farm shop – and community.
People know each other and help each other.
The local shops have an informal agreement not to sell cheap-as-dirt super-strength alcohol – the liver-rotting stuff supermarkets sell. It will be the beginning of the end if Tesco moves in.
As Joni Mitchell sung in the Sixties: “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot… You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
There is still time to stop the juggernaut. All Bristolians have a right to object.
It’s true that current planning laws do not allow a Council to protect its own local shops as the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary: Tesco – the supermarket eating Britain – shows.
However the formal objection process against a shop front still gives plenty of scope for voicing concerns. Tesco front store branding promises cheapness but is a lie. Our local shops are cheaper than Tesco Express, according to a local survey.
I am helping run workshops to help people write their letters. We all need encouragement. I know I did.
The deadline for emailing your objection is the 14 September 2010.
I have also sent my written statement asking to speak at the planning committee on 22 September at Bristol City Council on College Green.
There will be a party on College Green from 12.30 – 2.00pm to celebrate our campaign. Whatever happens, our fight for fair planning laws has just begun.