Tesco Express 2

Tesco extra
Recently a Tesco Express opened in what was the Fitzharris Arms – very close to an existing convenience store called The One Stop.
Tesco Extra
The Ox pub is going the same way – taking on the Tesco colours – and right next door to another convenience store called Best One.

155 thoughts on “Tesco Express 2

  1. AbingdonVoter

    This is galling to see a large supermarket chain deliberately attempting to drive other local businesses out of business. I have written to Tesco expressing my anger at this disgraceful business policy. As a (very) local resident I will never ever set foot in this new store.

  2. eddieh

    I will use this when its opens as it will have better access than the other shop next to it and plus I can get my clubcard points.

    If you campaigning though, you’ll have to avoid everything that Tescos operates which includes the supermarket and the petrol station. I’m not sure if people are that committed to the cause.



  4. MICH

    oh no tesco, this is shocking it stinks of vile policy. also i agree must be a back hander involved here how possibly has this been kep quiet. i call for an inquiry also look at tescoply a site which looks into tescos across uk how they have given gifts and stopped complaints. wheres the council.

  5. the color climax corporation

    buy tesco shares, that way you as the local community will benefit from the shop.
    you can’t say that about a local corner shop – with that the profit goes into the pocket of one person.

  6. Old Ghost

    Color Climax – do you work for Tesco? BUY shares? Profit? This is sadly about more than the miniscule amount of money the average citizen can make from buying shares in the impending monopoly on trade in Abingdon. And what have you against said average citizen trying to make a living serving his/her local community?

    “You know the price of everything but the value of nothing”

  7. sarah

    tesco sick i live opposite that site i wont be going there rather drive to budgens. if best one or londis didnt have it. i will never go in tesco never have done. all my family hate tesco they ruin community look what they have done to bicester, oxford its tesco gone crazy. and for (. the color climax corporation) a Danish pornography company founded in 1969 all this about tesco have they hired you for pr

  8. hester

    A few years ago Tesco had plans for the former Fox and Hounds Pub on the Abingdon Road into Oxford. There was a big local outcry – posters in all the nearby house windows etc and it didn’t go ahead (the downside being that it is still there as a boarded-up eyesore, but that’s another matter). Does anyone know how the campaigners won their case? We know that the “change of use” argument won’t work – and sadly local sentiment however strong is unlikely to sway Tesco – what other grounds/tactics could there be?

  9. Iain

    I share Hester’s view – if people feel strongly about this sort of thing they need to campaign about it. Moaning may be cathartic but it won’t make any difference.

    Fundamentally tesco are a business and do things for cold commercial reasons – if people spend their cash at the store they’ll continue to set up more, if they don’t, they won’t. Even more so if they believe the new store will affect sales at their core busines (marcham road). The difficulty is what choice people have – waitrose is a lot more expensive, budgens much less choice, somerfields no parking, Oxford/didcot long drive.

    The planning argument doesn’t work very well unfortunately. There are not many legal reasons that a council can oppose vhange of use applications and we don’t live in a country like china where local authorities can just tell businesses what to do. Regarding backhanders – this sounds slanderous to me and unless there is some evidence I dint think it enhances the argument.

  10. donald

    hi everyone, i have lived on oxford road for more than 27 years. very nice and quiet. why is tesco hell bent on ruining our community. please find a way to stop them. please. aslo there are a number of local shops that are serving the community and a major supermarket in town also there is alot of sentiment against tesco someone should start a petition against it. we have to stop them. what is the council doing. i bet they are having tea party with tesco planners and builders. like dillon said a gift is enough to get bulldoze there plans through. also there are no plans or building regs put in yet. this is being done retrospectively. by the time people wake up it will be open.

  11. colin

    I think the Fox and Hounds was stopped because locals got prior knowlege, and stopped it before it started.
    managed to stop it before/at the planning stage.

    Unfortunately Tesco let slip about the Ox conversion, when the Fitz conversion was completed and grand opening….this displays to me that plans submitted to the council must have been accepted very quickly.

    To try and avoid the building becoming deralict perhaps?..
    Sadly I think the Fox and Hounds will become dangerous and have to be demolished. (who will pay for that??) .

    The site in Abingdon Road is also where a Petrol Station was, so is registered as a Toxic site, (although the petrol storage tanks were removed and sealed). Its amazing how quickly a forest of shrubs can grow…..

  12. Iain

    If you look to someone else to do something nothing will happen. If you feel strongly what are you doing about it Donald? Did you object to the planning application for example? Maybe you could start the petition you suggest.

  13. julie

    tesco god help us please.someone should start a petition. as for back handers yes there are many for example go to tescoply site where hundreds of tesco cases have been looked into and there is one case they have ignored building and planning laws. the council has called the building ilegal i say lets all call a day of protest and pull those blue boards down fromour old pub tesco first sells cheap booze then puts pubs out of business then they buy the pubs cheap.i will never go to tesco i live opposite the pub .

  14. colin

    Unfortunately its too late to stop, now.

    When the Fitz opened, many people I know said they wouldn’t use it. supporting The shops at the other end of Northcourt Road, (Budgens, ex Co-Op) and round the corner in Wooton Road (One Stop, alleged to be owned by Tesco?).

    It didn’t last, grand opening offers ( buy 2 get 1 free), discounts and club points. plus offering the blue stripe lines as well, many people along Northcourt are on low incomes, Tesco certainly know their target market well.


  15. paul

    we dont want this tesco ive just checked there is no planning or building regs for the pub submitted. so it means they are builing it with confidence that the council will pass it. it really is beyond belief. how this can happen. the council takes town extensions and changes to houses and small retailers and when it comes to tesco nothing. where is the chamber of commerce and the mp all asleep in bed with tesco. i also live on oxford road and have not recieved anything in the post regarding the builing. i will not be going there no way.

  16. jason

    STOP TESCO this it has not been put in for planning this is ilegal so far. IT CAN BE STOPPED ITS NOT TOO LATE.colin and lian look like tesco pr workers. rubbish they coming out with. why cant it be stopped they will change the front design so that requires palnning permission. this tesco has to be stopped. i live walking distance from this site this will increase traffic and theres no need for this tesco.

  17. Steveo

    Well I’ll be avoiding these stores at all costs. The town centre is dying, and it is shops like these that are killing it. Obviously we see that Tesco don’t care and are in it for the cash, but nobody mentions Greene King? They bought out Morland and Morrells, and then shut the pubs and sell them on to Tesco. It wouldn’t have happened if Morland were still in business. I don’t understand how they can buy a company with 280 years of history, a cornerstone of Abingdon and simply shut it and nobody gives a toss. People of Abingdon need to start sticking up for themsleves, by not using these stores, avoiding Greene King beer and making their voices heard!

  18. mary

    no need for tesco support our local shops londis vineyard bestone oxford road budgens northcourt all served the community quiet well. if tesco can see this blog please stop if you really cared about local people how can you start work and even in marston where 4000 signitures on a petition and you still apealed against the decison. its all a corrupt council this stinks of bad councilors and local mps. i wont be going to the oxford road tesco. rather walk to londis or bp co op. best one will close down cant stop that we can stop tesco from opening though.

  19. kay

    lets all get together like they did in abingdon road and hounded tesco out. it can be done just need to push the councilor on this. then they will follow the book. if not then there will be some rules being bent and maybe some freebies for the planners who knows what happens when they go and inspect the sites. maybe a free mobile or tele or a few hundred

  20. just another resident

    Sadly you do not need planning permission to change a pub into a shop. That is the law
    I know somebody contacted the planning department this week and they did not know what was happening on site. Tesco have not contacted them.
    The only planning permission that Tesco will need is for signs, changes to the windows etc. Look out for those planning applications. I don’t know what a mass objection to those will do – but it’s worth a try.

    I assume the reason that the Fox and Hounds did not become a Tesco is that they needed to demolish and rebuild it. That *would* need planning permission!

  21. jenkins

    there is a local plan which looks at homes retail space and use. every council has laws to stop a change. is it a listed building and why is there no planning application for the front elavation and the changes this is breaking the law. i live on oxford road this is unacceptable. i will in future not contact the council if i want to build or change my house. thank you i will never go to tesco

  22. Iain

    All this talk of corrupt councillors is really annoying me – I am a councillor by the way so appreciate I have an interest.

    I’ve just spoken to the planning officer for you so that the discussion may be a little more informed.

    1. Paul is correct that no planning application has been submitted. The law (nothing to do with backhanders) is that moving from a pub to retail is a permitted use and therefore no planning permission is required for that.

    2. Planning consent will be required when they change the external appearance of the building (windows, doors, signage etc) and of course we will have the right to object. However the way planning works is that applications can only be turned down if they are contravening a planning guideline and it is very unlikely that this sort of development will do so.

    3. If they do some more substantive development (in effect an extension we could have grounds and I’ve asked the planning officer to keep an eye on this. If anyone spots this happening they can report it to the planning officer on01235 540347 who will send round an inspector.
    it 4. They also confirmed that tescos have not approached themto discuss this development.

    … And Jason – I have no more of a desire to see a third tescos in Abingdon than you do (and I don’t think colin’s comments suggested he did either) – I just don’t agree with you that planning will be an effective way of stopping them as fundamentally they don’t appear to be breaking any laws. They’ll only be swayed by commercial logic – vote with your feet and encourage others to do the same.

  23. just another resident

    The fact remains that people *will* use the new Tesco.
    Most of the customers will not even think of the traffic chaos it is going to cause to the residents of Oxford, St Johns and Boxhill Road
    How are the delivery lorries going to get in?
    Where will everyone park?
    Oxfordshire County Council are responsible for roads and traffic. Is there anyone there you can contact Iain?

  24. Agnes_C

    I will definitely be voting with my feet. I do not shop at the large Tesco store and I won’t shop here. For small items and last minute shopping Budgen’s on Northcourt has always served me well. They were fantastic when it snowed both 2009 and 2010, real local spirit with everyone getting on with it. A 10 minute walk in crunching snow was quite fun – and a pint in the Spread for our valiant effort made it even better.

  25. DILLON

    hi Iai, so what can you do as a councilor we all dont want this there must be some point which you can stop this look at the town centre its dead. just necause all these major multiples are opening out of the centre so there is no need to go into town in turn this just doesnt affect one shop but all kinds of shops. we need this to be highlighted.

  26. Iain

    Hi just another resident
    My understanding is that traffic would only be considered as part of change of use. If it were moving from a residential to retail then we could argue this but as pub is already considered as retail it is already assumed that is will get deliveries and have customers parking in the area.
    I share your view but don’t think it’s a flyer in terms of getting it stopped.
    The relevant department is roads and transport in occ on 01865 815700 if you’d like to run it by them.

  27. Iain

    Hi Dillon
    A very good question and depressingly less that one would hope – in reality the councils, particularly the town council has very few powers in this area. I’m new to the role and stood for election for exactly this reason and am still working out where exactly we can make a difference.
    From what I’ve seen so far there are three areas where we (council but also all of us as members of the community)can potentially make a difference:
    – we can do things to support independent retailers to help them be successful. Choose Abingdon partnership is the best example of this with initiatives such as the loyalty card, local excellence fair, helping local businesses with their marketing, etc
    – encourage more footfall into the town with town centre events and activities. In particular this will be a consideration as we look at the guildhall development for example. Similarly there are things we can and will be doing to encourage more visitors to the town eg making more of the river, better signage/direction for tourists
    – there is sone scope to influence the shape of the town for example by influencing the way bury street and the charter are developed. This is complex as the town has little direct influence here. The vale can do more but we have to remember that Abingdon councillors are only one voice on this council. This is further complicated by a multiplicity of views on what the best mix of ships would be – for example many residents would really like some larger multiples (next, m&d, etc) to come to the centre. But if we create suitably sized units to achieve this we have no actual say in who chooses to cone here so we could end up with a fourth tesco and another pound shop.
    Watch this space and be assured as someone from the private sector that we are pushing where we can but rapid, directive change is not going to be easy.

  28. Angela Lawrence

    You blame the councillors. That isa terrible thing to say and totally unwarrante4d. We DO NOT get back-handers. I hate the way Tesco are destroying local businesses and I never shop in any of their stores.

  29. just another resident

    Somebody mentioned starting a petition.
    Is there anyone reading this with experience of doing this in an effective manner? It would need careful wording and somebody with time to carry it through.
    There are websites for doing this online – but I don’t know how useful these are.

  30. DILLON

    councilors need to help in some way if they can also local people need to stop going to tesco express. then our towns and cities will be saved from tesco. we all need to protest outside the shops not complain about councils alone.

  31. davidofabingdon

    When Tescos attempted a few years ago to extend their Marcham Road store the (then) Vale council took a courageous and risky position to block it due to the impact on the town centre. The Council won. The Tesco local stores have just as great an impact on the town.

    I can but hope that the new Vale and Town administration does not cave in to this. It is true that change of use from a pub to a shop does not need planning consent, but the level of work that Tescos is carrying out on the Ox would be unthinkable on any other building without the planners getting involved.

    The council DO have powers in this area. If, for example, work is carried out then retrospective planning applications are submitted, or if there were “class of goods” restrictions in place on the Ox Site that a Tescos store would contravene. In such a case Tescos would be unable to trade unless given permission by the council.

    I find it astonishing that the monitoring of this development is, effectively, being left to the general public with the admonition to “report it to the planning officer” if we see anything. Surely something like this the council officers should watching like a hawk?

    Impact on traffic on a major arterial route that already suffers congestion at peak times.
    Impact on established local traders.
    Impact on the quality of life for those living around the junction.

    There are solid logical reasons to oppose this development. Iain suggests that there are no legal reasons, but as I have already suggested there may well be legal avenues open to the council. Here is a golden opportunity for the new council administration to show it has some balls and really does support local independent businesses.

  32. Iain

    I think you’ve misread my earlier post.
    I said that I had asked the planning officer to keep an eye on it (and by the way I’m sure they were/are anyway – they were fully aware of the activity) but additionally provided a number people could call if the observed anything which they felt might be a contravention of planning rules.
    I cant see that any of the grounds which you mentioned are likely to be successful in opposing a planning application unless they start to do material external changes (which they don’t appear to be doing at present). Having said that I didn’t follow your point on class of goods – what opportunity do you think exists here?

  33. gareth young

    wonders…. would people be objecting this much if it was asda, sainsbury, co-op, morrisons or lidl doing this?
    can only guess the reason the pub closed was due to lack of business from the locals.

  34. CST

    Too late do anything about this now, all people can do is vote with there feet and that will never happen on a big enough scale. Welcome to Tescoland .
    Sad times indeed for the country, not just Abingdon.

  35. Steven Green

    No planning permission has been applied for yet. The same thing happened at the Fitzharris, where they started work before submitting planning applications. By the time, the general public have any chance to object it is already too late to stop it.

    I was actually the only person to object as a local resident to The Fitzharris planning permission, which you can see if you look at the planning permission on the district council web site.

    I suggest that when they do submit planning permission, which they will have to do sometime to put up signage and change the car park arrangements, etc, that as many local people formally submit an objection.

    However by then, so much construction work will have been done inside that turning it back into a pub would be very expensive and unfeasible.

    There is an early days motion going through government that should prevent change of usage of community facilities such as pubs, post offices, village shops, etc, from being changed like this as has happened at Fitz and Ox. You can help with this by emailing our MP by filling in the forms at http://www.camra.org.uk/page.aspx?o=322146

  36. anonymous coward

    /wonders where the usual supects are, harping on about getting people to stop using their cars and shop locally.

    Presumably ‘if’ this does turn out to be a Tesco, and not just a reuse of some hoardings, then it will at least create jobs for someone.

    If you dont like it, don’t shop there, just like you clearly didnt support the pub, before it went bust..

    What do you want there ? A ‘local’ corner shop, that you’ll then complain is to expensive ?

    Or just ‘not tesco’ in some childish temper tantrum.

    Of course, it could have just been turned into a couple of nice houses, which my money was on.

  37. Adam

    What no one seems to have considered is that, although Tesco is a National Company, it is still going to be employing local people. I don’t knwo how many, but you can probably guestimate at 10-20 full/part time workers.

    If the other shops in the area don’t up their game, they will lose out, so they have to have something of a USP. Tesco’s will be pricew and an assured level of qualiy with known brands.

    At the end of the day, you pays your money and maes your choice. If you don’t like them, don’t shop there.

  38. Jimmy

    I think it’s good to turn the Ox on to a Tesco. More convenient (and cheaper) for the local residents. All you haters out there are ok to post your comments on here, but are you going to do anything about it? NO! Turn all the pubs in to Tescos, it’ll be a lot cheaper for beer. Cheers!!!

  39. DILLON

    CLASS OF GOODS. OIS A SERIOUS POINT.which needs to be looked into by you lain and angela. i done shopping at londis recently quiet a nice shop have a variety of products and budgens is a good shop to we will have to see which shops close in the town. there will be some shops closing and boards going up. its a sad thing but alot has been bought on itslef by the local people.

  40. Iain

    Can you explain what you mean by class of goods – it’s not something I’m familiar with. I asked David in earlier post but no reply yet.

  41. davidofabingdon

    on some retail sites there are conditions limiting the class of goods that can be sold. Permission would be needed to sell a higher proportion of a different class of goods. For example, a shop might have permission to sell convenience goods, but when a supermarket takes over the site they may wish to sell a higher proportion of comparison goods such as clothing or electrical.

    I have asked (and as yet received no reply) as to whether there are any limitations on the class of goods that can be sold on the Ox site. Quite often retailers conveniently ignore these restrictions unless the council points them out.

  42. Tim

    Jimmy you are so misguided is incredible. A pub is not just a place to drink its often the hub of a community. A place for people to meet up and socialise. If you closed all the pubs down it would be horrific!! I for one was very sad to see the Fitz go but it did not surprise me. The beer and the food was rubbish. Unless you lived very locally there was no good reason to make a special effort to go there. I have been in the new Tesco where the Fitz was (shame on me) and it was busy compared to when I last went in the Fitz!! A lot of it boils down to bad management. If landlords make an effort with good food, good beer and something slightly different people will flock. For example a friend of mine recently took a huge gamble and took on a closed down pub 6 months ago. Apparently it was a real dive, the sort of place you would not go in unless your life depended on it. Its now thriving. He recently did a fruit beer festival. Took a lot of planning, getting ales in from around the country with fruit in them and bottled fruit beer from Europe but it was a huge success. The place was heaving!! He called it ‘You’re 5 a day the fun way’ beer festival. It can be done with hard work, there is no reason for a pub to fail. Hopefully the Nags will re-open and become the sort of pub it should be!

  43. Iain

    Thanks for clarification David.
    I’ve followed up on this and have been told this is managed by licensing rather than planning.
    I’ve put in a call but hit a wall of answerphones (getting near to POETS time I think) but I’ll post any feedback I receive here when they get back to me.

  44. DILLON

    lian if you follow this link( http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-applying/t-class.htm) it will explain classes. the main one would be sales off premises which means sale of alcohol to drink away from the premises which shops have pubs have on premises so if the ox has on premises licence they need to submit a change of licence plus a variation of hours licence. also class would be if you are permitted to sell class 1 items and you in your range of goods are selling class 3 for example thats a breach. a supermarket chain will some where down the line break it and as mentioned earlier the council have to point this out.

  45. the color climax corporation

    this post has even more replies than the flood posts a few years back!
    nice to have debate but the naysayers are not really providing any reasons – more a wishy washy ‘ why can’t everything be like it was 50 years ago’ kind of sentiment.
    my mother worked at tesco for 30 years.
    she was paid well, they even had profit sharing – meaning her mortgage was paid off 10 years early.
    even now she’s retired they give her 10% off everything for life.
    if she’d worked at a local convenience store instead, i can imagine she would be far worse off.

  46. JOHNNY


  47. DILLON

    The color climax corporation is a VIDEO PORN COMPANY PR FOR TESCO. seem this is not a local log you are repeating the same things as you did in fitz pub blog.

  48. the color climax corporation

    lol dillon – i’m a local resident. my internet nom de plume is a joke among friends based upon a past experience many years ago – i’m loyal to tesco as my family has been very well served by them.

  49. Diana Spencer

    It’s so pathetic boycotting Tesco, do you really think the hard working, hard pressed British public are going to care that much? What they want is cheap and easy British produce which is what Tesco offers. What a ridiculous idea.

  50. DILLON

    DIANA if people want to boycott tesco they should. support the local shops who have been trading around the country as family run businesses for years butchers grocers food stores pubs off licences. they have all been taken out of business by supermarket giants. if you went to a local shop and were short of a few pence or needed help they would help not a tesco express. there is no such thing its all about money with tesco. you must be working for them.

  51. Ryan

    Come on People, the fact of the matter is if people had used The Ox, Greene King wouldn’t of closed the pub down, it wasn’t down to bad management, because as far as i know the couple who used to run the Ox now run the Black Swan, and that appears to be doing ok.

    The other fact is that most people in this town do not care where they shop, they just want fast efficient service at the cheapest price. There are a lot of independent retailers in this town, but i don’t think Londis and Best One really count as they are part of a bigger franchised chain. as far as i am aware there is only one truly Independent Connivence store left in Abingdon, The West End Newsagent. and i don’t think Tesco will effect them to much.

    And as to Traffic and Parking, there is a large carpark to the rear of the row of shops and 2 entrances to is, plus it is plenty big enough for a Delivery lorry, and lets be honest if no one is going to use it it shouldn’t have any more deliveries/ parking problems then The Magic Wok or Best One

    There have been rumours about Tesco/Sainsburys opening on the Ox Site for about 6 months now. Its a case of to little to late now.

  52. shaun

    RYAN -LONDIS/BESTONE ARE INDEPENDENT RETAILERS its all about where you buy stock from. NOTA FRANCHISE. in this blog most of the people are against teco so where you got your info from i dont know. live near radley road i go to londis and will keep going there. will never go to tesco. ITS NEVER TOO LATE. they havent start construction work they are dong the ground so there is still time.

  53. mark

    a bit about tesco on http://www.tescopoly.org Tesco’s finest tea – produced in far from finest conditions?
    IUF, July 2009
    In June 2009, an experienced team of IUF researchers investigated living and working conditions on the large Talup plantation in Assam, India which IUF understands to supply tea for Tesco’s Finest blends. The plantation management clearly failed to apply even the minimum requirements of the Indian Plantation Labour Act of 1951. read it then you might think more about why people are agints teco

  54. the color climax corporation

    from the first line on the tescopoly website….

    Tesco now controls over 30% of the grocery market in the UK. In 2010,

    so…. clearly not a monopoly at all.

  55. Ryan

    ok, Shaun, I have spoken to the people who work in Londis and i’ll think you will find that they and Budgens are part of a francise.
    E.G. “http://www.theukfranchisedirectory.net/page/musgrave-budgens-londis/krnsok.php”
    Thats a bit like calling Costa and Coffee Republic “Independent”

    Secondly i dont think 54 people count as “Most” of the 32,000 people in Abingdon

    and Thirdly i am purely basing the fact that most people in town don’t care where they shop by the number of people who shop in the Ex Fitz Tesco.
    Another example of people choosing brand over independent in this town is Poundland Vs Wow Pound.

    I’m not saying this is a good thing, I am mearly pointing out the fact that it most probably is to late to stop them now.

  56. shaun

    ryan londis and budgens are independants retails with buying agreements of how much they have to buy from a certain company. its about independent shops having a well know name so people come to the shop. they use there own money own stock so if you go on londis.co.uk or budgens.co.uk go on join it will clearly explan part of a fascia group but still independent. ITS NEVER TOO LATE. its a bit like they are open now so its too late. its not even started. tescoply have been contacted and they will investigate this case of any wrongdoing. i go to londis and budgens nice workers very helpful in tesco your just a number not in smal l local shops.

  57. This Charming Man

    The point about Tescos being ‘cheap’ is incorrect. They have certain offers rotated but food and goods prices are on a level playing field with Sainsburys.

    Tescos will be using web analytics to find out where they are being discussed, and will doubtless participate in any online debate to give their angle.

  58. Ryan

    Shaun, So if Tesco Express was a francise, would that be ok?
    Londis, Budgens and Best-one are not truly independent, being part of a francise means they get deals on the food they buy,They also have BOGOF and deals like that that the company set, giving them a opportunity truly independent shops could not have. If you really want to support local shops, go to Radley or the precinct and use their shop,
    At the end of the day, it’s going to provide 20 or so jobs which are much needed in Abingdon,
    The way Londis, Budgens, Spar, Best-one and the other shops in town will survive is if they Diversify, Sell a range of products Tesco Express Don’t.

  59. Peter, Minneapolis MN USA

    Was there ever a posting on Abingdon blog that created such a response?
    There appears to be no consensus, is the new mini Tesco a good or a bad thing? For the anti-Tesco writers you may take comfort in that the company has really missed the boat with the ‘Fresh and Easy’ convenience stores in America. It is surprising that such a brilliant retailer in the UK would stumble so badly.
    I sent my observations about the new store after my one and only visit to Sir Terry Leahy (while he was still there) but got no response whatsoever.. shows how little they care.

  60. shaun

    ryan you are writing so much rubbish first you said they are a franchise now you say they are like a franchise. They are classed as independents part of a fascia group. Tesco is a monster. If it it really cared about local people in some parts of the country its has completly damaged the scence. Taking down trees building on local land getting there plans pushed through even having there stores classed as ilegal. So you need to go and study your pr campaign properly because your dong more damage to tesco than good. I would be surprised if you didnt get the sack in the morning.

  61. Amy

    Wow People on here seem to be taking this a little bit to seriously. It doesn’t actualy effect any of us personally. Unless you happen to own Londis Shaun? Lol

    And as for the conspiracy theroys about people on here working for tesco and people in the council/planning overlooking it cause it’s Tesco are just insane! Probably the same people who think elvis is alive and the royal family killed Diana!

    Ryan is right to a certain extent, the majority of people in Abingdon don’t care where they shop, that’s why poundland is always busy, most people use boots and superdrug over smiths and why costs and the other one on the Market place are always busier then the other coffee shops.

  62. shaun

    all over the country ppl are not happy about tescos local policy so for u to say about locals in blog are mad its a bit cheeky. Im more worried about best 1 and budgens to be honest as londis to far to be effected. Budgens who have served the locals for years.

  63. Pingback: Beer in Abingdon, Oxfordshire » Quick Round up of Abingdon Pub / Brewery News

  64. Amy

    I’m not saying your mad to worry about the shops
    Closing, I’m saying the conspiracy theroys are ridiculious just because you don’t agree with what they are saying. Doesn’t mean they work for tesco. I’m sure budgens will be fine, the peachcroft and northcourt/dunmore areas are big enough to support them.
    Is in not possible that everyone is overreacting to problem that will possibly never happen.
    I remember when they were going to build waitrose there was a similar uproar then. If anything the prospect of a sainsburys opening when the precint is redeveloped should be a bigger worry!

  65. newcomer

    Don’t doubt that Tesco have put a lot more thought and research into shopping patterns in Abingdon than most of us and will do their utmost to keep a dominant position in the town. As I’ve written on The Blog before, the Fitz and the Ox are as much a defensive move by Tesco as anything else. The Ox, especially, could cream-off enough turnover to make another supermarket’s development in a rebuilt Bury Street less attractive. Tesco are clever … they play a long game.

    An experienced, professional outfit like Tesco will walk all over those who represent the interests of a provincial town.

    Abingdon has a problem which Didcot doesn’t have … there’s not much room to expand as the Market Place is just over the River from a flood plain where you can’t build. This means that you’ve got to have a well-thought-out plan to keep the Town Centre alive.

    Those on the Town’s ‘side’ have to have the balls and the foresight to know what planning permissions are in the Town’s interest … and whoever gave Tesco as much leeway on the Marcham Road wasn’t thinking.

    Someone who knows what’s happening recently asked me what the answer was to this problem and I said that it was for people to start asking the right questions.

    Like, given the probable future, what are the realistic options for a Town Centre?

    It ain’t gonna be a pastiche of early 20th century Abingdon, but it would be a tragedy were Tesco to pluck the Town’s heart out (as it has elsewhere).

  66. doozer

    Well…as everyone is entitled to my opinion, here’s my thoughts on all of this. I’m going to turn this on it’s head. I am going to make some assumptions also…but please; roll with it… What I am going to suggest is on the assumption that the councillors or the planners or the decision makers have b#lls of steel. A leap of faith, I know… we can but hope…

    How about…we dance with the devil? Why fight Tescos? They’re too big…we can’t win. Or can we? Maybe we should let Tesco get what they want, but let’s make them play by our rules. It’s our Town, not theirs. They are interested in making money for shareholders. We are interested in the future of Abingdon. Tesco wants growth. We want investment.

    So, I propose…let Tesco expand Marcham Road. Let Tescos refurb the Fitz (I know, they have already), let them redevelop the Ox. They can do all this WHEN they have funded and delivered the following for Abingdon:

    Tesco funds the free parking in Town initiative.
    Tesco provides a free and frequent bus service from Marcham road to Abingdon Town – to encourage the people parking for free at Tescos to come into Abingdon.
    Tesco funds a Cinema development for the town.
    Tesco funds a footbridge over the River.
    Tesco part funds a road bridge/completion of ring road.
    Tesco funds 3 local charities each year – boxing club, youth centre, operatic society…or just puts, shall we say..£1m into an Abingdon Charitable kitty?

    These are just ideas off the top of my head.

    The point is, the more Tesco wants…the more it has to give. I’m not talking an “extension to Marcham road store=some potted up flower beds”…I am talking Tesco properly, seriously, putting back into this Town. And therefore requiring those Council decision makers standing up to them! Of course, these investment ideas should be put to the Town in a series of public consultations (or, better still, should COME FROM the Town). With all decisions being in the open, with transparency, accountability and simplicity upmost (I know…I’m really pushing it now!!)

    People will argue that this won’t stop Tesco ripping the heart out of Abingdon (I guess by this people mean retail)..well, funnily enough I have thoughts on that too! But perhaps this can wait until another rant…

    Just to clarify, as far as I am concerned, “Tesco” is just a generic term for “Supermarket”, and although good in parts, are generally all as bad as each other.

    So…who’s with me!?

  67. the color climax corporation

    if you want to live in a communist country better to move to one rather than try to turn uk into one…..

  68. newcomer


    An interesting contribution and worth thought, though I would point out that:

    ‘Tesco provides a free and frequent bus service from Marcham road to Abingdon Town – to encourage the people parking for free at Tescos to come into Abingdon.’

    is something that Tesco would love (as where there is traffic it would be two-way).

    The town has little negotiating leverage with Tesco as its ‘leaders’ on the council have been supine in the past and show no spine at the moment … lots of belly. but no spine.

    No one has said what they think a town centre will look like in 10/20 years time and that is the problem … lack of foresight by people who are supposed to be looking for a solution (and being paid for it).

    It’s not answers we need now …. no one has grasped the questions.

  69. johnny

    all the planning has been passed a while ago ive been given some inside info. it has not been made awailable on public access site. so the council is involbed it is corruption and i will prove it. how theres no application on the web council dont know about it but it has been passed. dont make sense does it. well its true also watch out for the herald on wednesday 3rd aug. councilors have failed its and 8 week process guys for planning so nothing has been submitted the council is saying but behind the scene it has and no one knows.today is 2nd aug 2011 8 weeks from now makes it october when it will be ok to change the front legally. if they follow the law.

  70. Anon2

    There is a group on Facebook, Ox Pubsite, Abingdon – dont turn it in to Tesco – 2pm 6th Aug BE THERE! JOIN THE GROUP

  71. MICH

    i will be there told best one he will come out aswell also the local lorry drivers will blockade the road make sure you all turn up twitter it and facebook to. get maximum attention.

  72. amy

    brill il be there got a day off work too. il bring my family to i dont want any of my local shops to be effected i ; budgens so il definatley be there il try and get budgens londis spar co op best one staff to come as well.

  73. mich

    im not really a internet guy havent got a twitter account just poke to a friend he will get ppl from budgens to come and join.

  74. jason

    sure il be there live right next door so please we have to stop this tesco. il try and provide drinks if i can. turn up in numbers please

  75. leona

    wow finally people are saying a march boards etc. il be there with my boyfriend. and mates. nice weather is predicted too.

  76. leona

    i think some one needs to put flyers out ask best one for a bit of donation if possible im in london at the moment will be back friday. we need to post some sort of a flyer contact londis best one budgens bp spar er goff leave leaflets in there shops get the word out not all of abingdon uses this site.

  77. CURTLY

    oh how much attention is this. got to be there and see this for my self. i support local shops i was surfing the net and saw this. im a resident of oxford road but never knew about this blog. great will join you guys but you have to get the word out

  78. mich

    u should drop the leaflets in at the local shops i e budgens best one londis radly stores bp. get goffs to distribute them too they got a news round i think best one has too.

  79. mich

    contact the dodgy councilors who have kept silent in this i bet the planning comes out after the tesco is opened they wil go and sit on the toilet.

  80. damien

    if i get off work a bit early and go to some local shops and tell them to tell people about this march. also wheres our councilors they seem to have gone silent. ooh they dont want to upset tesco. well do you think they will represnt abingdon on saturday in this march save abingdon. em no they will be having a cake and a hot tea with tesco. well lets give them an invite 2pm saturday pls be there il be wearing a bright red top with a white line on it so say hello pls

  81. newcomer

    Brilliant! When Backstreeter gets back from his hols he might see he ignited something like Paris ’68.

    Good to see some activists getting something going, but, if there is to be a march, where’s the march going to go and what is the mesage going to be?

    It would seem logical that a march should head for either Tesco in Marcham Road, or the Morket Place.

    The message … ‘Abingdon not Tescodon’?

    I think the problem isn’t with having a Tesco, per se, it’s with Tesco being greedy and trying to make life impossible for any independent outlet specialising in a market niche which Tesco would like to get it’s grubby fingers into … opticians anyone?

    A ‘core Tesco’ in the middle of town would have been to Tesco and everyone elses’ benefit as a ‘traffic driver’.

    I think anyone with any connection with the gifting of planning permissions in the Town should come ‘absolutely clean’ regarding any involvement with permissions granted to Tesco.

    I’d be interested to know about the contracts surrounding the paving of the High Street, but that’s another story ….

    Might be an idea were someone to specify the ‘when’ and ‘where’ on Saturday. I’ll be there if someone has a grasp on the event.

    For fun, I know you’ll all enjoy this:


  82. Anon




    THIS IS OUR CHANCE!!!!!!!!!

  83. Rachel

    I’m late to the party but here you go anyway….

    Has anyone considered that the reason that Tesco invented the Metro and Express stores was precisely because they were refused permission to build out of town or enlarge their existing out of town stores?

    More local stores encourage more people to walk a bit rather than block up town and drive to the Marcham Road.

    A new Sainsburys will encourage people to shop in town instead of driving to Heyford Hill.

    Many many businesses operate in an environment where there is more than one provider of the same service. Coffee shops, estate agents and banks all do business alongside their competitors and the customer has the power to choose between them.

    It wasn’t long ago that the only place you could buy milk in Abingdon after 10pm was McDonalds. Tesco have upped the levels of service in this town and encouraged all the other shops to do a bit better.

    Thank goodness no one was out demonstrating that Abingdon didn’t need another ********* when we started our business here.

  84. Amy

    Something tells me all these people called anon are gonna cause trouble, has anyone informed the police? Cause I’m pretty sure you are supposed to inform them of any planned protests

  85. Anon

    The police have been informed and i do not want to cause trouble. Why would anyone want to cause trouble? We are simply voicing our views – which we have a right to.

  86. Amy

    I’m sure that’s what the original organisers of the protest in Bristol said, not saying the protest is a bad thing, they just normally attract trouble makers.

  87. jass

    hello every one il be coming to this protest and so to all my mates just going to the pub boundry alot of ppl from there will be coming to because no one has mentioned tesco hurts pubs to not just local shops.

  88. july

    this must be a record blog for abingdon. this will be a good chance and amy you need to think positive also we need to keep the protest peaceful dont want to divert theattention

  89. Iain

    Hi All
    Refering back to my post number 46 (you see councillors do keep their promised).
    I’ve now heard back from the licensing department at the vale. Aparently green king have given up their license for the ox. This means that any new occupant of the site would need to apply for a new license if they wanted to sell alcoholic drinks. There is a public consultation for this process so if (assuming it proves to be) tescos then they may decide to go through this process and residents would have another opportunity to register any concerns as part of that process.

  90. july

    wowwwww what news is this breaking news then so may be it wont be ready for christmas then. if your not bluffing cos the licence at fitz got given up and tesco opened

  91. sensible person

    lol – conspiracy theories ahoy!
    so the white horse site isn’t working as part of a cover up on behalf of tesco hmmm?
    and officials are in their pockets hmm?
    i note the brave protest guy doesnt see fit to supply a name against his post – or maybe he thinks the police are in tesco’s pocket too and will have him arrested for speaking up.

    if the public are truly against this store it will close due to lack of business – but i think if the complainers were honest, they know that most people will choose to use it once it’s open.

  92. BykerRode

    @110: Just looks like an invalid/broken link to me.
    I’ve reported the problem so lets see how long it takes
    them to fix it.

  93. Jacks son

    …I have emailed Nicola (Blackwood)…to see if she has signed EDM 1453 that calls on Government to ensure new planning rules incentivise town centre development, retail diversity and the local economy and ask if she supports amendments to the Localism Bill (tescoploy.org).

    I’m not saying she should or shouldn’t….just curious what her view of it all is…

  94. Iain

    July – if the websites not working you could always phone or visit the licensing department. They were very helpful when I did and perfectly happy to update me on the licensing situation with the ox.

  95. shaun

    but ian how do we know that the council is not hiding anything from the public. Im not saying they are but is there any chance that they could be for legal reasons etc

  96. Iain

    I just can’t see why it would be in the council’s interest to hide this sort of thing. The council do not seem to have a commercial stake in the process and they have a legal obligation to run transparent planning and licensing processes.

    The difficulty with issues like planning and licensing is that there are lots of rules in the process, and applications only need to be made in specific situations and can only be rejected for specific reasons (and people objecting is often in itself insufficient).

    People don’t always agree with the outcomes of these processes, but my experience of the Vale planning office is that they run the process very diligently.

  97. lynn

    hi all. This is on fron page of the abingdon herald there will me mass protests outside the tesco site on oxford road. Im a supporter of local shops. I will attend and stand up against tesco. This tesco has to be stopped theres no planning and licence applied for ive checked. I think they have put the blue red boards up so ppl just accept it. But there cover got blown. We need to support our councilors and work together not agianst each other. The councilors have a chance here to prove the ppl wrong.

  98. jenny

    tesco has gone mad. Why are they trying to put people out of business. If so many are against it why build it. Also they need a new licence which could have major objections like traffice but need to check the four licenceing objectives. So there is a good chance the licenceing department can reject this. But tesco will appeal and appeal and appeal until they get accecpet at the top level. There are so many loop holes that sometimes the council want to reject it but have no grounds to. So its about people power and the rules as said by ian.

  99. gareth young

    why build it if so many are against it?
    well there’s an obvious answer to that isn’t there – the number of people who either don’t care or do want one vastly outnumber those that don’t – it’s just that the don’ts make lots more noise than everyone else.

  100. The Earl

    This is a disgrace. I intend to use this tesco regularly though. I will use it the same way I used the Ox, to sit in and get hammered. Perhaps play some pool

  101. harrod

    all retailers should take a stance against tesco i e if you have paypoint or payzone dont issue any tesco top up vouchers like a shop i will not name has started doing sri are you from best one if so stop giving tesco vouchers

  102. Pingback: Beer in Abingdon, Oxfordshire » Protest to Stop The Ox becoming a Tesco Direct

  103. Kat P

    I agree that another Tesco is a bad thing. Unfortunately (from my point of view) a big enough proportion of people choose to shop at Tesco so their stores are viable and they keep expanding.

    However it is also the case that Tesco will not need planning permission to change a pub into a shop. They will only need permission if they are making substantial changes to the building. So on this occasion criticism of the local councils is misplaced.

    This is really a national issue. The national groceries market is too dominated by a small number of very large companies which exercise an unfair degree of influence on the market. Unfortunately each time the grocery market has been looked at the results have not been strong enough.

    I hope the march is successful as big companies don’t like negative publicity as it only hurts their brand. As individuals the best thing each of us can do is choose to use local and independent retailers wherever possible.

  104. harrod

    they have not yet got a premises licence to sell alcohol as ian has said so its in very early stages also they have only put the boards up so its not too late to stop them. protest has and doeas change out comes. hope this one does too. main issue wil be please every one you have to be peaceful. no violence and be active i.e signs banners. put your message across like i will by peaceful means.

  105. harrod

    this is what one blogger has wrote on the abingdon herald site =

    Your_Kidding wrote:
    Tesco and Sainsbury’s will continue to open anywhere and everywhere while inept councils and planning offices agree to them doing so.

    Not the stores to blame but the local authorities they have the power to stop them but wont because it appears to be quite lucrative for councils.
    Read the article… Several town councillors are trying to stop them, but not a lot can be done. There have been no planning permission applications submitted yet that can be rejected, and even when they are (which they will have to for things like signage), the district council is powerless to reject it unless it breaches the law, and even if it did, the damage has been done and would be very difficult to undo the building work that is going inside.

    There are some MPs trying to do what online_reader suggests, led by Burton MP Andrew Griffiths and supported by many others who understand the importance that the British pub and brewing traditions have within the British community.
    Oxford City Council have blocked an application from Tesco to turn a pub into a store so why can’t Abingdon council ???”

  106. Iain

    To add to Harrod’s post (127) I just wanted to make it clear that the town council has virtually no formal powers around planning. The town council is consulted about all planning applications and is able to lodge a view, however (unlike Oxford) the planning authority is the VOWH District Council.

    BykerRode’s thought is interesting (and I’ll certainly read up a little more on the implications of this), the challenge would be defining a sensible criteria and grographical scope which would allow the town to continue to develop commercially whilst protecting it’s character.

  107. Iain

    Just read a bit more about article 4 restrictions. What they do is allow councils to remove the right for permitted developments eg small extensions etc, and mean that anyone wishing to make such a change would then need to submit a planning application.

    Unfortunately I dont think it would help in this situation:
    – 1. Businesses do not have any permitted development rights so already need to seek planning permission (as tescos will when they make any changes to signage, doors, windows etc)
    – 2. The switch from pub to retail is not a permitted development – it is just regarded as being the same use from a planning perspective.

    Good idea though bykerrode

  108. Millhelen

    It is my understanding that if the premises are demolished and rebuilt, or if they are extended then planning permission is required.
    I wonder if this is what happened in Oxford as the former pub had been damaged by fire?

  109. Millhelen

    I have just checked Oxford City Council website and it appears that the planning application was for demolition of the pub and building a new 2 storey building.
    That is the difference

  110. doozer

    Whilst I hope to support this campaign with everyone else I fear that THIS fight will be small fry…compared to the propsed supermarket development in the centre of Abingdon.

  111. Pat

    This is what I wrote for the Abingdon Herald:

    The Friends of Abingdon Civic Society regards the transformation of a pub to a supermarket as a “Change of Use” which should come before the planning committee for full public scrutiny. We think that there is no need for a supermarket in this position and it will lead to far more traffic on a busy road with a difficult entrance to the car park right alongside a pedestrian crossing heavily used by school children and a bus stop. The Ox was a very homely looking pub, a supermarket would need major changes to the look of the building and we think a change to residential use would be more appropriate.

    We noted that the historic Morelands plaque was removed from the wall of the Ox as soon as it was sold. What happened to it?

  112. Tim

    ‘We noted that the historic Morelands plaque was removed from the wall of the Ox as soon as it was sold. What happened to it?’

    WHAT!!!!!! That outragous!! I was under the impression those plaques were listed in their own right, hence most buildings that were pubs still have them? Thats an awful thing to do. If Tesco are responsible for that I hope they get a huge fine!!!

  113. Iain

    Hi All
    As a bit of a punt I’ve placed an e-petition on the new government website entitled ‘protect town centre diversity – planning reform’
    If you feel strongly about this sort of development then sign the petition and maybe we can give local authorities some powers to actually stop them (a bit like we have with conservation areas)
    The web site is http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk – it said it may take a couple of days to appear.
    If enough people sign it then maybe it will make a difference – tell your friends!

  114. First blog

    It is bizarre that this is not regarded as a change of use. I suspect I will no longer be able to call in for a meal and a glass of wine with friends?
    And – remind me – did the Ox sell washing powder, bags of sugar, toothpaste, eggs ……………?

  115. BykerRode

    @138 – Its all down to ‘Use Classes’ as explained here:
    The Government (Eric Pickles department) are in the process of reviewing these classes under the Localism Bill
    There is pressure from many quarters to have amendments made to the Bill to
    prevent changes of use like this from happening, so do vote for Iain’s e-petition and also contact your local MP.

    @110 – The Public Register of Licences is now viewable.
    It says that Green King still hold the Licence and no application from Tesco has so far been logged.

    I read somewhere (cant remember now) that Tesco are expecting to be open in time for Xmas 2011

  116. JAMES

    hi to all. the law regarding licenceing is a change or variation has to be advertised i.e change in hours of permitted activity. supply of alcohol. now its for you on the blog to find out if they did this at the fitz pub. its part of the law to advertise once in the local paper once a application has been submitted. regardless of green king holding a licence. the current licence is from 10.30 am so if they were to sell alcohol before that they would need to apply for a variation which could easily be blocked if there were enough complaints. and they have to advertise on the premises to with a blue a4 paper. so by law they need to apply to either a change or a new one. so there is still a big chance for the people living in the area to object in numbers on good grounds.

  117. davidofabingdon

    I am sorry I am away on holiday so cannot be there at 2pm today. Count me there in Spirit even though I cannot be there in person.

  118. Iain

    To confirm licensing office have told me green king have surrendered license – maybe website hasn’t been updated?

  119. BykerRode

    Todays Guardian carries an article headed:
    ‘Tesco attacked by Labour as ‘almighty conglomerate’
    “Tesco has become “an almighty conglomerate” abusing its unfettered market power to dominate towns at the expense of small retailers, Labour claimed as it called on the government to confront the chain.”

  120. Bobby

    Lain, as you have been elected there is still more expected from you do something about this, the people turned up but we want to know what can you do with the contacts you have.

    Its no good you saying you dont have the power, you could take this to london and highlight the issue we have.

  121. sensible person

    you’re assuming that ‘ the people ‘ don’t want the tesco.
    or are you saying only the anti tesco people’s voices count?

  122. Iain

    Hi Bobby
    Happy to discuss what you think I can do to help – drop me a mail and we can meet for a beer or coffee to discuss. I’d point out i’ma town councillor though- probably pretty similar to you except that I decided to stand for election to see whether I can make our town better, so not sure what London contacts you think I have (I’m afraid im not a party big wig – just someone who wants to make a difference where I can)
    My mail is Iain.littlejohn@Abingdon.gov.uk

  123. Stuart

    i know this debate is nearly a year old…. but i couldnt help but notice how much you all say your going to stick to the local One Stop shop. Sorry to pee on yor bonfires but One Stop is Tesco… it just operates under a different name. Look closely at things they offer and you will notice the similiairties If you dont believe me… Here’s it from Wikipedia’s “mouth”

    One Stop, which includes some of the smallest stores (smaller than a Tesco Express), is the only Tesco store format in the UK that does not include the word Tesco in its name. The brand, along with the original stores, formed part of the T&S Stores business but, unlike many that were converted to Tesco Express, these kept their old name.

    One Stop stores offer a different range to Express stores and its operating costs are different. One Stop’s price strategy is to match its nearest competitor Cost Cutter and is frequently cheaper than Cost Cutter. They can usually be found in smaller communities across the United Kingdom.

  124. Amanda Godwin

    Personally I am pleased to have the two tesco express stores. They make life easier. The part of Abingdon that needs attention is the center. We the towns people are paying for a face lift on properties in the precinct that Abingdon doesnt own. So we have no say in the rent or in who the properties are rented to. It is suppose to be complete by Christmas 2012 but with nobody moving in what does it matter.

  125. Pingback: Abingdon Blog » Tesco Express 2 – five years on

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