Case Study: Yiewsley Campaign
Yiewsley residents (represented by the Yiewsley Community Involvement group) have been campaigning for some time against Tesco’s plans to set up a superstore (7,930 sm) in their community. The campaign against the store began in 1994, when proposals were first raised to build the store on a park gifted to remain as open land for the enjoyment of the community.
Tesco subsequently bought the Taplin Trading Estate, which at the time of the purchase was said to be a thriving industrial estate, providing over 800 full time jobs. The estate is located off the High Street, Yiewsley, facing the Grand Union Canal. The first planning application for the proposed superstore site was turned down by the London Borough of Hillingdon in 2005. Tesco appealed this decision as well as the refusals of its two duplicate applications by the Borough.
Yiewsley residents prepared for the appeal, with help from the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) and Planning Aid (PA). At the appeal proceedings, Yiewsley residents (relying on advice from ELF) successfully established that the superstore did not comply with blue ribbon policies (London Rivers Open Space Plan) contained in the London plan and also with the Hillingdon unitary development plan. The Inspector turned down Tesco’s appeal in March, ruling that the proposed superstore amounted to an overdevelopment and that it was out of character and contrary to the blue ribbon policies. Blue river networks in London, include the Thames, the canal network, the other tributaries, rivers and streams within London and London’s open water spaces such as docks, reservoirs and lakes. The network also includes culverted (or covered over) parts of rivers, canals (such as the Grand Union Canal) or streams.
Community discussions to consider an alternative plan to expand their current town centre site failed. Tesco thereafter filed another application for a revised planning permission for the superstore. A decision on this application was deferred, based on written objections from residents stating that they had not receive proper notification about the application and that it was not duly advertised, as required under planning law.
The Borough’s planning committee has granted Tesco’s application, subject to a 106 agreement and relevant planning conditions. The community group still opposes the siting of a superstore at the Taplin trading estate and intends to seek judicial review against it as soon as they are able to get legal aid or pro bono representation.