Will planners ever say "no" to Tesco?

Is there a town in England without a large Tesco? At the moment there is at least one, and residents of Manningtree are hoping it will stay that way. This delightful Essex enclave is the smallest town in England with a population of only 900, and is preparing to battle with all its might against a new superstore opening in its historic coastal town.

Tesco already has an Express store in the town – against local opposition – and residents fear for the survival of their High Street traders if a larger store is opened too. There are also more than a dozen Tesco stores within a stone’s throw, so it doesn’t meet a local need.

So it’s timely for them that the dominant role of Tesco will tonight be shown on Channel 4. Dispatches asks if Tesco is abusing its power as Britain’s favourite supermarket, with 2,000 stores and 15 million customers a week, and almost twice as big as its nearest rival. The programme says that Tesco could soon become even bigger – but not if Manningtree protesters get their way.

Does Tesco always win? Do the residents of Manningtree stand a chance against them? And do local people support their small shops enough, or is the reality that they really do prefer Tesco?

When Tesco says “every little helps”, who are they really helping – their shareholders and profits springs to mind.


  1. Hello Ellee
    Just to keep you informed. Both local MP’s have now come out against the Tesco plan for Manningtree. Tim Yeo and(at last!) Bernard Jenkin.
    All three local councils,Manningtree,Mistley and Lawford have objected to the plan. Yesterday the Enviroment Agency told the local press, that they have sent a nine page objection to the plan to Tendring Dis. Council.I’m told by the planning dept. they’ve had a very lage amount of objection letters – the most they’ve every had for a local planning issue.
    In a comic turn of events.The very small ‘pro’ Tesco group are going around saying that there will be ‘Travellers’ camp put on the site if Tesco’s plans are rejected!As the local builder who is trying to sell the land is very angry people are objecting to the Tesco plan.
    It is very hard to see how the plans can go through, given the quality and large numbers of objections.
    Keep well Ellee
    regards Peter

  2. It’s certainly not living in the past to say no to this daft idea.
    The future of Manningtree,Lawford & Mistley will be damaged by the amount of traffic the Tesco would doubtless bring with it.If Tesco say it’ll be 800 cars an hout at peak times 0- we all know it’ll be a lot more.
    Even the “pro” Tesco Lawford PC have now objected to it! I know these councilors well, and they say it wont work with our current road stystem.Tesco said a very firm “NO” when they were asks to stump-up some of the many millions to improve the level crossing and local roads. Improvements that, as otheres have said Ellee, would invole closing the main rail line to London!
    Both local MP’s are now against it – Tim Yeo very clear and firmly objecting to it,and Bernard Jenkin has now come off he fence and described the plan in less than glowing terms! Hundreds of people have now sent objection letters. If it goes through, with most local people against it, a nasty wiff of corruption will hang over Tendering Distict Council for a very long time Ellee.

  3. I would say that to have a Tesco AND and a Co-op on this site is ridiculous – I think the sensible thing is to have one or the other. If Tesco really want the site then they should approach co-op with a very large offer to vacate and re-build and adapt the existing store. The Co-op is quite expensive and without some of the choices or shopping experience that Tesco might offer. To have in effect two supermarkets is just crazy.

  4. MARY. M

    Well i work in the co-op and i SAYYYY

    BRING ON TESCOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. the reason they dont want tesco’s in manningtree, is because a handfull of people are still living in the past… all the small shops in manningtree have had it easy! a little bit of competition would do know harm!….Unless you want to buy a house, A soliciter.. or a bank theres not much else there.

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