Sainsbury’s Local mooted for High Street

Occasionally we hear about supermarkets trying to move into Teddington – Waitrose have been looking for somewhere for quite some time but couldn’t find anywhere big enough with adequate parking. There have been rumours about Sainsbury’s trying too and now plans have been submitted to Richmond Council.

The building on the corner of Langham Road and High Street (near The Landmark Arts Centre) does seem to have a high-turnover of different businesses and we thought that high-end furniture store Calligaris might have found a long-term home there but apparently not :/

The plans can be found online here and objections have already been made. If you wish to lodge an objection, remember to stick to Richmond Council’s guidelines on how make a valid objection to plans.

The A1 (shop) license that the building was granted on the basis that food could not be sold there. Why does Sainsbury’s think this can be changed? We don’t know! But’s obvious that the Council originally thought that other nearby local food-selling businesses need to be protected so we think this should still apply.

A 7am-11pm daily opening time is likely (11pm currently served by franchise Budgens 500m away) and Marks & Spencer is only 250m away – it’s not clear then what the need for another supermarket in town the size of Teddington would be. Plans are indicating that most would walk or cycle here so shoppers could just as easily shop at M&S.

We believe that aside from a slightly shorter walk for some, the town wouldn’t really benefit from this additional supermarket chain and it would be more detrimental to existing, independent businesses who already suffer from this type of competition. Due to it’s small size and parking provision, it’s not likely that it would bring many additional shoppers to the area. Even the name “Sainsbury’s Local” is somewhat misleading! This might be geographically local but certainly not in nature.

If you wish to object, use one of more of these reasons:
Visual amenity, adequacy of parking/loading/turning, road safety, highway safety, traffic generation, noise/disturbance, design/appearance of building (especially when put into context of our lovely almshouses opposite), previous planning decisions.

Don’t make it about:
House prices, changes to a view, the impact of construction work, personal or moral views. Also the Council mentions not making it about ‘competition between firms’ which is a tricky one – really that might be our strongest point, so although it might be in the forefront of your minds, mention the legitimate reasons as your main ones!

Council planning page for apllication 12/3584/FUL.

Kirsten Brown, we salute you! One of the many objections already made against the plans:

Teddington was shown in all its glory last week at the Teddington Lights Up – supported by local small business owners and shop keepers. It has a valuable village charm which locals are striving to keep.

To add another supermarket to our locality would be completely superfluous to requirement. There are numerous cafes and food outlets along the High Street and their livelihoods and businesses would all be at jeopardy if another large organisation were to move in.”

The main plans had to be re-submitted due to an error with the address given so there is more time to object (until 20th March 2013). The separate alcohol license (7am-11pm) submitted is also receiving strong objections from residents, groups and also the Teddington Police team who fear a return to problems in nearby Udney Hall Gardens.

For more info, check out this group that has been setup to fight the plans.

The Richmond and Twickenham Times will be taking photos of those protesting the proposed store at 9am on Monday 25th March 2013 at the Calligaris site so if anyone agrees with the objection and is free, please join the crowd for the picture! Leo King has also created some fab placards (above) for some to use.

The licensing hearing on 11th April 2013 ended up with Richmond Council granting the license with 14 stipulations including slightly shortened alcohol-selling hours (8am-10pm) – a move that lead the local police team to drop their objection. There is a chance to appeal this decision and the case for the planning proposals will be held separately.