Monday, December 08, 2008

Knowle does not need a Tesco Express!!

Tesco should not be allowed to convert The Friendship on Redcatch Rd, Knowle into a Tesco Express (report from local paper here). I will object to these plans and support any protest/petition. They seem to have a policy of flooding the market with their outlets.

Tesco's Bristol dominance is growing, skewing the local economy. It is monopolising the market, which is increasingly bad for competition and thus prices. It is forcing longstanding and loyal local shopkeepers out of business.

We need a balance of types of shops in Knowle. Tesco already has stores nearby and there is also a choice of supermarkets and smaller shops in the area.

Another Tesco outlet seems absurd. Any new store and plans ' improve the existing car park arrangements on the site to offer 12 customer parking spaces...', could increase local traffic and worsen road safety.

Another issue is what would happen to the area that is currently a pleasant, reasonably large garden with trees and shrubs at the back of the pub. Many people will want to retain a local pub and garden. If pub retention is not possible there must be better uses than yet another Tesco!

I've contacted the council for details but none are available yet as the application is very recent.


  1. I'm strongly against the loss of any pubs, especially in Knowle. Although its a good area to live in, one of the things that lets it down is a shortage of good pubs, which are often at the heart of the community.

    If we lose the Friendship we have lost an essential part of the community. I'm sure with the right management and support the pub could be a going concern and I personally am against the Tescofication of our city. Unfortunately I doubt if planning policy in the city is robust enough to defend against this development - witness the destruction of the Ashley Arms Hotel, but in Bishopston BOGOFS had success against a supermarket development on Gloucester Road through a concerted campaign, and thats what we'll need to defeat this application.

    A Knowle Resident

  2. Yes, I strongly agree. I've spoken to the local shopkeepers. There is already a petition rapidly gaining signatures. I will be bringing this issue to the attention of groups I am a member of : Bristol South Green Party and Knowle's neighbourhood 'Transition' group Sustainable Knowle. I'll do my best as part of any concerted campaign and will start such a campaign if others dont!!

  3. Sorry but I don't agree with you. Tesco will provide the local residents with a much better choice of goods and at a much more resonable price. I honestly think that closing the pub is a good idea. The locals know that drug-dealing takes place there as well as the selling of stolen goods. The place looks a mess during the summer months with people hanging around outside drinking all day. Good riddence I say....or should that be BOGOF !!

  4. Bear in mind the sudden appearance of this plan and the lack of proactive sounding out of locals! Many, many locals are signing the petitions against a Tesco and will send in objections to any planning application for a new car park.

    There is plenty of affordable shopping in Knowle already, including two Tesco's within 15 minutes walk of my house!! If Tesco put local shops out of business due to their guile and power in the market then there is less competition to keep prices reasonable. Some people say that prices in Tesco Express stores are higher than in their supermarkets and that their prices creep up over time. Tesco also have the capacity to make people special offers to draw them in and then they flog them less cheap stuff too. In any case there is more to a local economy than just the prices of goods offered - we need a decent mix, within decent walking distances...

    I'd like to see a renewed effort to get a properly run pub. The location and garden have so much potential and so many other local pubs have closed. However, I do acknowledge the problems and if a pub is not possible or not wanted then surely we can make better use of the building and gardens than a supermarket?? Conversion to accomodation for the elderly with gardens perhaps? Or to flats/houses, with pleasant gardens, that would otherwise be built on a green space somewhere?

  5. I've read the 3 articles in the Evening Post and all comments.

    I've added my own here

    You are certainly well intentioned and in an ideal world we would all agree with you 100%.

    Bust costs, jobs and a safer living environment especially in todays financial climate far outweigh any argument against this development.

  6. I've replied to your comment on the Post website in detail Mark. Take a look at it.

    Interesting that people use statements like 'in an ideal world we would agree with you 100%'. It seems to say that my argument stacks up and is consistent and coherent. You dont get real change and progress without pushing hard and trying to make ideals a reality now do you??

    I'm opposed to the Tesco plan for a range of reason, including costs, jobs and a safer living environment. If Tesco set up their impact on local shops could result in less competition and prices that start creeping up - not everything in Tesco is cheap anyway! Over time the arrival of a Tesco could result in net job losses as local shops close and the local cash and carry system gets closer to being unsustainable altogether. As for a safer living environment it is clear that this plan will worsen traffic and bring more large vehicles to the area, worsening noise, pollution and accident risk - and the loss of green space if the pub garden is built over makes the area less attractive.

  7. "There is plenty of affordable shopping in Knowle already, including two Tesco's within 15 minutes walk of my house!!"

    Those two Tesco stores both have BS3 postcodes which means they are outside Knowle.

    "and the loss of green space if the pub garden is built over makes the area less attractive."

    I fail to see your point if no one outside the pub can actually see (or use) the garden. Had it been paved over 6 months ago, only the pub's staff and drinker's would have noticed. Hardly a great loss in that respect, is it?

  8. Anon,

    You'd ackowledge that there is plenty of affordable shopping in Knowle eg in and around Broadwalk? You'd acknowledge that two Tesco's are within 15 minutes from me on foot?? Your point simply seems to be a petty one - that the Tesco's are outside Knowle - on the basis on their postcode!! Hardly a strong one, given that they serve people in Knowle!! Dou you feel that every ward should have a Tesco??

    Your point about the pub garden not being valuable because people cant see it or currently cant use it is narrow and very shortsighted. If its turned into a car park its potential as a garden is gone and therefore there cant be of any future green benefits to people, whether pub users or residents in flats...Green spaces have wildlife value and potential too of course. If you compare the area with walled garden now, with the area having a car park, with cars (and associated lights and noise...) turning in and out, I think any reasonable person would say the area is more attractive with a walled garden! Strictly speaking the neighbouring and adjacent houses do see the garden anyway because they overlook it!

  9. Sorry Glenn, but if my point is petty, then yours is misleading. Your statement is untrue as there are NO Tesco stores in Knowle no matter how much you try to twist things to suit your cause.

    In return....I think your concern over such a small piece of grass is petty....but hey ho....that's only my opinion.

  10. Dear oh dear....someone points out a true fact and you call it petty because it waters down your arguement. You just couldn't accept that what the person said was right and you were wrong.

  11. Look, I dont mind saying that the two Tesco's within 15 minutes walk of me are just outside Knowle on a postcode basis. Its no big deal because the key point remains - that there are already two Tesco's pretty close by!

    On the loss of the pub garden to a car park - it seems some people just cant see the value and potential of open, green spaces. The points I made in response are just ignored!

    As for any of this watering down my argument against Tesco - rubbish! The two anonymous comments address only one tiny part of my case, as expressed eg in my letter direct to Tesco.

    Most people are taken aback and will be concerned by the sudden developments and serious lack of prior community consultation. The ‘professional team’ that has been working on ‘plans for an Express store’ have not thought to involve a range of local people from the off. Tesco's 28 Nov letter informing a tiny numbers of households was quickly followed (on 4 Dec) by the submission of a planning application to build a car park over the pub garden. Local residents were posted letters by the council on 16 Dec and only have until 6 January to respond, with Christmas and New Year rapidly approaching!

    This is for me not the action of a ‘good neighbour’ though the Tesco letter begins ‘Dear Neighbour’ and mentions that Tesco ‘operate a ‘good neighbour’ policy’. A good neighbour would generally be in close, frequent and good quality contact with people, probably a wide range of people, in the community – agreeing with the idea that neighbourhoods and communities should ideally shape where they live through partnership arrangements.

  12. A Tesco store is just what the residents of the Jarmans, Filwood and Melvin Square sections of Knowle West need. Small local shops are always overpriced and very rarely offer it's customers any discounts. The two Tesco stores you mention might be close to you, but not all residents of Knowle live where you live, do they? People who live 15 minutes away from you are probably 30 minutes away and so your reason of proximity therefore simply washes away.

  13. A Tesco store is just what the small local shops need? No - the opposite is true. Tesco have pockets more than deep enough to see off any local competition over a wide area and many local shops may close down altogether. This leaves people with further to travel. I guess you are not a believer in small businesses. I guess you see the local economy as just about the price of goods - and that wont stay low for long in Tesco if there is no competition.

    As for the closeness of the two existing Tesco's your argument seems to be that no ward in Bristol should be without one! There are plenty of local shops here other than Tesco's - at least for the present. We need to ensure we retain a healthy mix and retain local availability - Tesco is a threat to this!

    Are you happy with the way this Tesco plan is happening??

  14. "A Tesco store is just what the small local shops need?"

    Yet again you've twisted my words.

    This is what I said...."A Tesco store is just what the residents of the Jarmans, Filwood and Melvin Square sections of Knowle West need"

    These smaller shops that you so actively support have been ripping off local customers for years and I, along with many others, never use them. The only reason they continue to rip people off is lack of competition.

    Take a simple thing like a packet of paracetamol tablets...local shop price 99p....Tesco price 15p.
    Now tell me why we should give Mr. Small Shopkeeper six times as much for the same item?

    The sooner Tesco moves in and provides a much better, cleaner and cheaper alternative way to shop, the better!!

  15. I've not twisted any words and not been inaccurate. All the shops you list are in the locality.Everything I've said applies to the shops you specify and to other shops. Its no good being picky, which you seem to be consistently, in place of taking a view of all the shops that could be affected by a new Tesco. Why dont you address the wider picture??

    If the shops you name would benefit from competition what should happen is that potential shops should be talking to local people, councillors and officers and other local businesses about possibly setting up perhaps somewhere in Filwood Broadway or on Melvin Square. We should be proactive! This may happen along with other regeneration plans next yr. Its plain wrong for a major retailer to just suddenly announce plans, with no local discussions and very limited time to respond to a planning application - all for setting in in an inappropriate place like The Friendhip! The process by which shops are planned is even more important than which shops are involved.

    I buy almost exclusively from my local shops, especially the 'corner shop' in Harrowdene Rd. I stopped shopping in supermarkets about 3 yrs ago, apart from very occasional visits. I find that the average price is higher in my local shop but that I have been spending less on average since I started shopping there! I think everyone gets drawn into supermarket use by some cheaper items or special offer...and then enticed to buy other more expensive stuff - this is no longer happening for me!

    I find that my local shop generally has affordable prices, though some items like medications, can be very, very pricey - on that you are right though you have been very selective with product choice to make your point. Generally I dont buy such items from the corner shop - I'll walk around to Broadwalk and go into the local chemists! I think small local shops must only sell things like paracetamol in small amounts and dont stock that much - even so the prices they charge are too high and people should talk with their money by not buying them!

    Have you ever wondered though how Tesco achieve some of their very low prices?? They rip off many who supply them, not paying a fair price, whether it is British farmers or suppliers from countries like South Africa. The charity Action Aid have a campaign pointing all this out see:

    Just goes to show that in reality there is no such thing as cheap food - someone, somewhere is paying (!!) eg the South African apple pickers,....

    Maybe whole communities can be made to pay by Tesco as illustrated by this humorous item:

  16. Some Pub gardens give a lot of glory than just a pub.Exeter Arms from Rutland has a dazzling view of lush village, lake & horizon from terrace. With very energetic & fun interiors, it’s favorite among sport guys. White Horse from Norfolk flaunts terrace view of birds & sea-bird colony at Scolt Head Island. Plough Inn from Derbyshire located on curves of the perennial river is so soothing and mind-boggling. Craven Arms from Yorkshire is not only historical also picturesque terrace views of the curvy hills, dry-stone walls and all-round loveliness. To discover more, refer:

  17. As is evident from some of the comments made on the boarded-up windows of the Friendship, Tesco is not welcome in Knowle. Hopefully people will vote with their feet when it opens, and continue to support the two local shops that are within 10 metres of the site.


Genuine, open, reasonable debate is most welcome. Comments that meet this test will always be published.