NBCA's Letter to Tesco

18th January 2009

(text version below)

Tesco responded to this open letter on 26th January 2009.

NBCA letter to Tesco 18 January 2009 NBCA letter to Tesco 18 January 2009

An open letter to James Wiggam, Tesco, also sent to the Barnet Press and the Barnet Times.

18 January 2009

James Wiggam

Tesco Stores Ltd

Delamare Road




Dear Mr Wiggam,

Proposed New Supermarket in New Barnet

Last January, Tesco first revealed their plans to demolish the parade of shops in New Barnet and replace it with a large mixed—use development, including a 24—hour superstore and flats.

We were told that a planning application would be registered with Barnet Council in "the summer", then "September", "the end of October". "before Christmas" and "by the end of the year". It is now 12 months later, and no proposals have been submitted.

This uncertainty is having a negative effect on the community. Landlords and tenants are reluctant to spend money on their properties whilst the spectre of demolition hangs over them, and the properties that Tesco owns are becoming increasingly derelict, blighting the centre of New Barnet.

Residents have been left in the dark too, even those directly affected by the proposed development. Site neighbours attending small invitation only 'workshop' sessions in May were repeatedly assured by Tesco representatives that they were very important and would be kept fully informed at every stage of the development process.

Since then, these residents have heard nothing more from Tesco, and the company even failed to give them advance notice of its public exhibition in June.

Ironically, Tesco claims in its Corporate Social Responsibility to “want to play a positive role, to be a good neighbour in line with our customers' expectations" and to “listen and respond to communities throughout that process". So far, we have seen little evidence of either in New Barnet.

Independent research shows that 94.7% of New Barnet residents are opposed to any development by Tesco. If Tesco really wants to lister and respond to local residents, it will submit a scheme for the community to fight; or, better, sell up and let us repair and improve our existing local shops, including the properties it has allowed to become derelict.

Yours sincerely

Lyn Forster


New Barnet Community Association