Ed Miliband on Tesco

For those who haven’t seen it – Ed gives his views on supermarkets in our high streets. I agree with him – it’s about what locals want. I did the Politics Show on Sunday with Don Foster and Jacob Rees-Mogg (we all got on splendidly) and Don said that there are lots of instances of Tesco buying up land with no intention of applying for planning permission and/ or developing a store, simply to stop their competitors doing so. Any idea if there are any such sites in Bristol? Perhaps we need a rule that if developers don’t develop a site within a certain timeframe, action can be taken – but the Council wouldn’t have the money for CPOs, so what’s the solution? Starting to tax them more on the undeveloped site? But then that would penalise property owners who genuinely want to sell a site but can’t find a buyer. Quite a few of those in east Bristol, where some units on industrial estates have been vacant for a long long time. If they couldn’t find buyers or tenants during the good years, then there’s not much chance now…

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  • Quietzapple  On May 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    A land tax used to have the support of the Liberals: i think it dated back to Asquith’s time!

    Those who keep Tesco out aren’t always wholesome: Edward Fox was a leader of those who kept Tesco out of Wareham and the local shops were merely an excuse in practice to protect a pitiful Coop and a worse Sainsbury

    So the rich cut back on competition and helped keep prices up!

  • Matt B  On May 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Local people given more of a voice to make local decisions? Getting scarily close to that dreaded Big Socety there Kerry ;).

    Nice idea of Ed’s in theory, but absolutely impossible to implement in practice.

    • kerrymccarthy  On May 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      Big Society is basically about slashing public spending and saying to local people – here you are, you’ve got no money, no resources, no staff, but if you want to do it yourself, you’re welcome! Not quite the same as giving local people (more of) a say in planning decisions…

  • Annon  On May 3, 2011 at 12:18 am

    There are stacks of sites in cities like Bristol that are privately owned but never developed. But this is not a Tescos issue. The old GPO site next to BTM station is owned by a company in the far East. The long standing overgrown site next to Arnolfini is owned by some fella in Yofkshire. CPO yes indeed bur change the rules to make it quick and easy for key sites

  • Michael Bater  On May 3, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Change the law so that if a brown field site is not redeveloped within 18 months of being bought, it has to be re-sold.

  • kerrymccarthy  On May 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Here’s a fairly recent Bristol Evening Post article on the topic. http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/LET-S-SORT/article-3373689-detail/article.html

    Not sure why if the Temple Quay site is chosen then the focus would have to be on digital and telecommunications. IBM have an office near Temple Meads, and BT aren’t far away, but I don’t think it could be described as an existing cluster… Is digital/ telecoms the best choice or should we be using this opportunity to boost Bristol’s green credentials by supporting the burgeoning green technology sector? Or, as the article suggests, engineering at Avonmouth? Or the creative industries?

  • Tom Chivers  On December 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I know this is an old post, but it’s ironic that Don Foster could make such comments given the monopoly he’s allowed Sainsburys to develop here in Bath.

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