PUBLISHED: 11:50 28 February 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010
SIR, — Tesco praised for store site clean-up , you write (Herts Advertiser, February 21). If anyone could be bothered to read on past this flattering headline, they would have learnt that Tesco have finally started to tidy up some of their run-down prop
SIR, - Tesco "praised" for store site clean-up , you write (Herts Advertiser, February 21). If anyone could be bothered to read on past this flattering headline, they would have learnt that Tesco have finally started to tidy up some of their run-down properties on London Road, St Albans, timed to get them some positive media coverage as they submit their planning application to the district council for a city-centre supermarket.
Did anyone from the council actually "praise" Tesco for their efforts? I doubt it. Six of their properties are now in such a bad state they need to be boarded up, but instead we lucky people might be treated to artistic murals to brighten up their appearance. Whoopee!
You then write: "Survey suggests most not opposed to store". This was carried out in St Albans and those questioned (301) rated their feelings on a scale of one to 100 with 36 per cent for, 34 per cent against and 24 per cent neutral. How many of those questioned live within two miles of the proposed store? I'd love to hear from those in favour. I don't know anyone who truly believes that this would be good for St Albans. Nevertheless Mr Michael Kissman from Tesco states that there is now a "groundswell of opinion which considers the development could benefit the city".
One thing I cannot stand is this sort of corporate line. I know Mr Kissman is only doing his job but there are so many vultures hovering over St Albans, all trying to shoehorn in yet another development, all buzzing with catch phrases like "positive benefits". They couldn't give a toss about the impact their buildings will have on the city. Tesco will exploit every loophole to get a new store - just read up on the Gerrards Cross situation, opposed by 93 per cent of local people. Tesco secured planning permission to build a store over a railway line which subsequently collapsed in 2005.
With a property portfolio valued at £24 billion back in June 2006, Tesco can afford to fight long and hard campaigns and I think they are desperate to open a store in St Albans as they cannot bear to miss out on market share. But here's a thought - if 93 per cent of people in Gerrards Cross objected to Tesco, who is going to shop there?
Abbey Avenue, St Albans.