Cllr Karen Chilvers

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Tesco’s response to our call for a public meeting

by Cllr Karen Chilvers on 23 January, 2013

The following was received this morning:

Dear Cllr Karen Chilvers & Cllr William Lloyd

Thank you for your email addressed to Philip Clarke, our Chief Executive, to which I have been asked to reply. Please accept my apologies for the delay in doing so.

I fully appreciate you taking the time to let us know the views of residents in Brentwood and specifically, Warley Hill, with regard to our plans to develop a site in the area. I regret your correspondence was not received in time for a representative from Tesco to be able to attend your meeting on Monday.

As this matter concerns Property Development, I have brought the points raised in your email to the attention of our Corporate Affairs Department and our Planning Team for their consideration. I would like to reassure you that before we start any planning or building works for a new store, we fully research the area and meet with the local council. This is to discuss the advantages it would bring to the area. Of course, we would only consider opening a store in a particular area if we believed it would benefit the local community. However, I do appreciate your feedback on this.

Having addressed your concerns with our Corporate Affairs Manage responsible for the site in question, I can confirm that we will shortly be starting our public consultation. I understand letters will go out to local residents in the very near future and that we will then hold a “drop in centre” at a local venue so that people can have an opportunity to view our plans and discuss them in more detail with members of our team.

Thank you once again for taking the time to contact our Chief Executive’s office and for your patience while I discussed this matter with the relevant area of the business.

Kind Regards

** staff name **
Customer Service Executive

and I replied thus:

Thanks for your reply.
The meeting was not for Monday, the meeting will be arranged at your convenience and the availability of the Town Hall so I hope you will be able to provide some dates.  We are hoping this will be a non-confrontational meeting where a relevant Tesco person will be able to hear the concerns of local residents and you will be able to allay their fears and make a commitment to how you will conduct yourselves as their neighbours.  If this is as claimed in your corporate responsibility objectives, then clearly there is nothing for you to worry about.
To date, no meetings have been held with Brentwood Council (as you do not need planning permission for the current site to be turned into a Tesco Express) or contacted the local councillors or approached any residents.  I am sure you have researched the area for commercial reasons, but the community has not been consulted.
I note your public consultation which is welcome news as our offer of a public meeting still stands and I think this will be beneficial.  I can assure you that the meeting will be impartially chaired and respectful to both sides.
Cllr Lloyd and I look forward to your response.
Cllr Karen Chilvers
Brentwood West


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