Queen of Shops gets behind Teddington Sainsbury's campaign

Just say no: Sainsbury's has proved a controversy

Campaigners: Not happy with the newest addition

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Queen of the high street Mary Portas has pledged her support to a campaign to stop a supermarket giant "taking over" Teddington.

Sainsbury’s was granted permission, on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, to open a store at Calligaris Interiors, High Street, after its application for the site was refused by Richmond Council.

Members of the council’s planning committee unanimously refused permission for the supermarket last year, but the decision was overturned in June this year.

The Teddington Business Community said it was "astounded" with the inspectorate’s decision and said the site was "clearly unsuitable for any major food chain".

Councillor Tania Mathias said: "Teddington High Street is in the top 10 high streets in the country and that's because of the unique character of the area.

"The council's planning members rejected the application and, although the only recourse appears to be a legal fight, I would urge Sainsbury's to rethink siting a shop on this corner."

Dr Mathias said she did not think the site, which is across from historic cottages, a church and church hall, was a place for increased traffic which a supermarket would bring.

Last week, Mary Portas, who was appointed to lead a review into the future of the British high street by the prime minister, blogged to show her support for the ongoing campaign against the supermarket.

In her post on the Huffington Post website, she said: "Don’t get me wrong, I love competition. It’s what makes business healthy. But fair competition only please.

"When you have a cost base like Sainsbury's, way below that of a local independent, you have a natural advantage in price and service.

"What I’m arguing for is that they should behave as responsible and good neighbours.

"The people of Teddington don’t dislike Sainsbury’s any more than most of their competitors. But they do love the variety of the ‘indies’ who have managed to keep their doors open and make their high street special."

The supermarket chain will also be opening a premises in Kingston Road, after planning permission was granted by the council in November last year.

Comments (8)

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2:37pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Teddington Resident says...

Let's get real about this. There are a few very vocal NIMBYs who don't want Sainsbury's on the Caligaris site because they claim it will upset the independent retailers. Did those same NIMBYs campaign against Morrisons at the other end of the street? Did I miss it? I don't think so. I've lived in Teddington for over twenty five years and I'm not sure who the independent retailers are on the High Street who will be affected by Sainsburys; equally I would say that the arrival of M&S revitalised the place when it was at an all time low - I don't either remember the NIMBYs objecting to M&S.

I am one of many who would welcome Sainsburys, they will target what they sell very carefully and no doubt will bring competition to M&S which although very good operates their Teddington store with a signficant mark up on for example Kingston. There will not be a huge traffic increase and in fact congestion in the centre of the High Street around M&S may be reduced as some people choose to use Sainsburys. Who knows we might even have some of the mummies who live at the eastern end of the High Street feel able to walk to Sainsburys with their little darlings and leave the heavily polluting 4x4 at home.

Roll on opening day.
Let's get real about this. There are a few very vocal NIMBYs who don't want Sainsbury's on the Caligaris site because they claim it will upset the independent retailers. Did those same NIMBYs campaign against Morrisons at the other end of the street? Did I miss it? I don't think so. I've lived in Teddington for over twenty five years and I'm not sure who the independent retailers are on the High Street who will be affected by Sainsburys; equally I would say that the arrival of M&S revitalised the place when it was at an all time low - I don't either remember the NIMBYs objecting to M&S. I am one of many who would welcome Sainsburys, they will target what they sell very carefully and no doubt will bring competition to M&S which although very good operates their Teddington store with a signficant mark up on for example Kingston. There will not be a huge traffic increase and in fact congestion in the centre of the High Street around M&S may be reduced as some people choose to use Sainsburys. Who knows we might even have some of the mummies who live at the eastern end of the High Street feel able to walk to Sainsburys with their little darlings and leave the heavily polluting 4x4 at home. Roll on opening day. Teddington Resident
  • Score: 23

6:03pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Twotonted says...

Whilst Sainsburys may be welcomed by some, it is opposed by many. If you look at the planning portal the number of objections way outnumbered the support. 500 objectors is not just a few NIMBYs, it is a significant proportion residents on the eastern side of Teddington. Many of the supporters have addresses outside Teddington, or use Haymarket office as their address. Our elected councillors rejected the plan on good grounds - and rejection by the council was cross party (highly unusual). The most disgusting part of this whole saga is that one unelected bureaucrat living 100 miles away in Bristol can overrule the wishes of local people and those who they have elected. Also the current occupier of the shop does not want to move, but is being evicted by a greedy landlord who can get a higher rent from Sainsburys, which indicates their expected high profits. Maybe Sainsburys have not yet realised that their main customer base (Haymarket) will have moved by the time they open. Sainsburys claim to create new jobs - but no mention of those who will lose theirs!
Whilst Sainsburys may be welcomed by some, it is opposed by many. If you look at the planning portal the number of objections way outnumbered the support. 500 objectors is not just a few NIMBYs, it is a significant proportion residents on the eastern side of Teddington. Many of the supporters have addresses outside Teddington, or use Haymarket office as their address. Our elected councillors rejected the plan on good grounds - and rejection by the council was cross party (highly unusual). The most disgusting part of this whole saga is that one unelected bureaucrat living 100 miles away in Bristol can overrule the wishes of local people and those who they have elected. Also the current occupier of the shop does not want to move, but is being evicted by a greedy landlord who can get a higher rent from Sainsburys, which indicates their expected high profits. Maybe Sainsburys have not yet realised that their main customer base (Haymarket) will have moved by the time they open. Sainsburys claim to create new jobs - but no mention of those who will lose theirs! Twotonted
  • Score: -14

2:04am Sat 23 Aug 14

waldopepper says...

No-one objected against Morrisons because there was officially nothing to object against! The unit already had the adequate trading license, that part of the high st was already busy with traffic and has council car parks nearby. The Caligaris site specifically had a clause stating it shouldn't sell food/drink because the congestion and traffic it might create. The current tenants are a low volume shop and it doesn't open late or have frequent deliveries, a supermarket would be the opposite of this in the Conservation area. If there is any nimbysm going on, it's because it's a conservation area - and why shouldn't those living in it try to uphold the values of being inside it? At the heart of the objections is the suitability of this particular site for a supermarket, but there is a wider issue of the role of supermarket's competition that is being brought into context (but you can't really object to this specific point via the planning process).

Any food and drink outlet - cafes etc will probably be affected by Sainsbury's moving there by general attrition and because some staff working at the studios site will grab their lunch from there as it's the closest place to get food from their office, it's just human nature, grab a sandwich, get back to your desk, work whilst you eat! Calligaris wanted to stay there, they're a small company that invested £200k in the building, but sadly they're moving on now regardless.

Sure M&S undoubtedly led a resurrection of the High Street (there were objections to that too btw), but we have enough supermarkets for such a size high st (3 already) and more than enough choice now - more chains will just make it harder for independents to survive. When M&S started to sell branded goods, Teddington Hardware suddenly saw a massive drop in their sales of household/cleaning goods - that's the danger of having more and more large chains on the high st, they can suddenly change their offering and have the buying power to make it difficult to compete.

There are two Sainsbury's Locals planned for Teddington. If they thought they wouldn't take trade from nearby businesses then they wouldn't move here, as they're small supermarkets then not many will make the trip specifically to the area to shop there, they're more 'top-up' shops for lunches and stop-offs on the way here and there for dinner items.
No-one objected against Morrisons because there was officially nothing to object against! The unit already had the adequate trading license, that part of the high st was already busy with traffic and has council car parks nearby. The Caligaris site specifically had a clause stating it shouldn't sell food/drink because the congestion and traffic it might create. The current tenants are a low volume shop and it doesn't open late or have frequent deliveries, a supermarket would be the opposite of this in the Conservation area. If there is any nimbysm going on, it's because it's a conservation area - and why shouldn't those living in it try to uphold the values of being inside it? At the heart of the objections is the suitability of this particular site for a supermarket, but there is a wider issue of the role of supermarket's competition that is being brought into context (but you can't really object to this specific point via the planning process). Any food and drink outlet - cafes etc will probably be affected by Sainsbury's moving there by general attrition and because some staff working at the studios site will grab their lunch from there as it's the closest place to get food from their office, it's just human nature, grab a sandwich, get back to your desk, work whilst you eat! Calligaris wanted to stay there, they're a small company that invested £200k in the building, but sadly they're moving on now regardless. Sure M&S undoubtedly led a resurrection of the High Street (there were objections to that too btw), but we have enough supermarkets for such a size high st (3 already) and more than enough choice now - more chains will just make it harder for independents to survive. When M&S started to sell branded goods, Teddington Hardware suddenly saw a massive drop in their sales of household/cleaning goods - that's the danger of having more and more large chains on the high st, they can suddenly change their offering and have the buying power to make it difficult to compete. There are two Sainsbury's Locals planned for Teddington. If they thought they wouldn't take trade from nearby businesses then they wouldn't move here, as they're small supermarkets then not many will make the trip specifically to the area to shop there, they're more 'top-up' shops for lunches and stop-offs on the way here and there for dinner items. waldopepper
  • Score: -10

2:12am Sat 23 Aug 14

waldopepper says...

^ to clarify, A Sainsbury's Local won't bring much more business to the area (as would a larger store) but they will chip away at other shops nearby - indies and M&S. If people do go there instead of Sainsbury's, this will mean people on foot as well as cars needing spaces.
^ to clarify, A Sainsbury's Local won't bring much more business to the area (as would a larger store) but they will chip away at other shops nearby - indies and M&S. If people do go there instead of Sainsbury's, this will mean people on foot as well as cars needing spaces. waldopepper
  • Score: -6

2:36am Sat 23 Aug 14

marie333 says...

Can Mary Portas please tell us where these nearby independent food stores who will be affected when the Sainsburys store opens, actually are?
Can Mary Portas please tell us where these nearby independent food stores who will be affected when the Sainsburys store opens, actually are? marie333
  • Score: 11

1:33pm Sat 23 Aug 14

richmondcomments says...

It's just a question of demand and supply. Sainsbury's will have done their research. Let's see how long those with placards resist the lure of better prices and longer opening hours.
Now what Teddington really needs is a Poundland.
Remember the outcry in Twickenham, yet it must now rate as the most popular shop there.
It's just a question of demand and supply. Sainsbury's will have done their research. Let's see how long those with placards resist the lure of better prices and longer opening hours. Now what Teddington really needs is a Poundland. Remember the outcry in Twickenham, yet it must now rate as the most popular shop there. richmondcomments
  • Score: 11

11:32am Sun 24 Aug 14

Teddington Resident says...

Oh dear, the NIMBYs are out here too. I do find myself wondering if they would be protesting so much it there was to be a Waitrose rather than a Sainsburys on the site. Somehow I think not.

As for the 500 objectors well on population statistics that's 2.5% of the population of the Teddington & Hampton Wick ward on 2006 figures which are the most recent I can find so no doubt by now the percentage is lower. As I said in my earlier post a few very vocal NIMBYs who the area would probably be better off without.

Caligaris brings nothing to the High Street except a few pretentious furniture buyers. I pass by every day and I've yet to see anyone in there so they are hardly a vibrant or relevant part of the community. It was more useful when it was the VW dealers but a reversion to that would probably horrify the same pretentious NIMBYs.

Roll on Sainsburys' opening day!
Oh dear, the NIMBYs are out here too. I do find myself wondering if they would be protesting so much it there was to be a Waitrose rather than a Sainsburys on the site. Somehow I think not. As for the 500 objectors well on population statistics that's 2.5% of the population of the Teddington & Hampton Wick ward on 2006 figures which are the most recent I can find so no doubt by now the percentage is lower. As I said in my earlier post a few very vocal NIMBYs who the area would probably be better off without. Caligaris brings nothing to the High Street except a few pretentious furniture buyers. I pass by every day and I've yet to see anyone in there so they are hardly a vibrant or relevant part of the community. It was more useful when it was the VW dealers but a reversion to that would probably horrify the same pretentious NIMBYs. Roll on Sainsburys' opening day! Teddington Resident
  • Score: 11

6:12pm Sun 24 Aug 14

waldopepper says...

Teddington Resident wrote:
Oh dear, the NIMBYs are out here too. I do find myself wondering if they would be protesting so much it there was to be a Waitrose rather than a Sainsburys on the site. Somehow I think not.

As for the 500 objectors well on population statistics that's 2.5% of the population of the Teddington & Hampton Wick ward on 2006 figures which are the most recent I can find so no doubt by now the percentage is lower. As I said in my earlier post a few very vocal NIMBYs who the area would probably be better off without.

Caligaris brings nothing to the High Street except a few pretentious furniture buyers. I pass by every day and I've yet to see anyone in there so they are hardly a vibrant or relevant part of the community. It was more useful when it was the VW dealers but a reversion to that would probably horrify the same pretentious NIMBYs.

Roll on Sainsburys' opening day!
The objections are against a supermarket moving into a unit in the conservation zone (should be protected) and this site specifically having a clause forbidding food/drink sales. Residents from all over Teddington have objected, not just those that live nearby.

Who cares what % of the population objected - the point is that the vast majority of those who commented on the plans objected to us - that's a representative percentage.

If residents were acting on the class of brand then why did no-one object to Morrisons on Broad St? You seem to have contradicted yourself a tad there. Why were there objections to M&S? Why did residents near the conservation zone object not to budget brand Topps Tiles that was at the Caligaris site? Yes it's currently a low-volume shop that doesn't need many customers to survive, that's the point - it doesn't create much traffic, deliveries, waste, or problems with neighbours. A supermarket would reverse this trend.

Pretentious furniture buyers? God forbid shops in the area cater to all different tastes. It's a shop type we don't have anywhere else on the high st so gives people more choice of goods. Another supermarket moving here doesn't.
[quote][p][bold]Teddington Resident[/bold] wrote: Oh dear, the NIMBYs are out here too. I do find myself wondering if they would be protesting so much it there was to be a Waitrose rather than a Sainsburys on the site. Somehow I think not. As for the 500 objectors well on population statistics that's 2.5% of the population of the Teddington & Hampton Wick ward on 2006 figures which are the most recent I can find so no doubt by now the percentage is lower. As I said in my earlier post a few very vocal NIMBYs who the area would probably be better off without. Caligaris brings nothing to the High Street except a few pretentious furniture buyers. I pass by every day and I've yet to see anyone in there so they are hardly a vibrant or relevant part of the community. It was more useful when it was the VW dealers but a reversion to that would probably horrify the same pretentious NIMBYs. Roll on Sainsburys' opening day![/p][/quote]The objections are against a supermarket moving into a unit in the conservation zone (should be protected) and this site specifically having a clause forbidding food/drink sales. Residents from all over Teddington have objected, not just those that live nearby. Who cares what % of the population objected - the point is that the vast majority of those who commented on the plans objected to us - that's a representative percentage. If residents were acting on the class of brand then why did no-one object to Morrisons on Broad St? You seem to have contradicted yourself a tad there. Why were there objections to M&S? Why did residents near the conservation zone object not to budget brand Topps Tiles that was at the Caligaris site? Yes it's currently a low-volume shop that doesn't need many customers to survive, that's the point - it doesn't create much traffic, deliveries, waste, or problems with neighbours. A supermarket would reverse this trend. Pretentious furniture buyers? God forbid shops in the area cater to all different tastes. It's a shop type we don't have anywhere else on the high st so gives people more choice of goods. Another supermarket moving here doesn't. waldopepper
  • Score: -7

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