Monday, 5 May 2008

Cottam Brickworks

Cottam Brickworks - retail shopping park OR a business in the community facilty that meets more than commercial needs ?

The Cottam brickworks site offers a great opportunity, but not for another super store.

Good Business
Preston is fortunate with leading retailers - M&S, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsburys who serve the town very well. From well planned , accesssible and environmentlally sympathetic sites in different locations.

The Cottam "Brickworks" brownfield site is 7 mins from Asda (Fulwood) and 5 minutes from Morrisons (Docks). It is opposite a small development area earmarked by english partnerships for an appropriate 'village centre' site eg a small retail location with corner shop and local provision.

The Cottam and Ingol area has a number of small food and household retail outlets - Spar, Coop and similar shops and a three local post offices . The impact of a a large Tesco supermarket as outlined on the
will be negative on local business and community interests .

* it is a poor proposal, with very little real community engagement underpinning it,

* was based on a now rather old and out of date local engagement survey,

* does not set out the true environmental impact costs .

Impact on the environment

The infrastructure for exising road users (Tom Benson way single carriage way ) would be placed under pressure and lead to congestion and increased environmental pollution. This supermarkets would be designed for car /bus access (primary) . and this would bring 24/7 traffic to a road which currently has peaks and troughs but provides the area with that 'rural feel' which in promoted in the Cottam village concept .

This proposed development of hotels, supermarket and small nature park has little for people in Ingol, Tanterton, Cottam, and rural and urban North West Preston wider area.

* This proposal is detrimental to the Primary Preston Tithebarn project it distracts from core retail planning

* This proposal is detrimental for our existing retail business partners - M&S, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsburys and all the small local business organisations.

* This proposal does not add anything new or add value.

* This proposal prevents more creative and beneficial housing, empployment and business startup schemes being implemented on this key site.

* This proposal does not meet the best objectives of local planning.

* the tesco cottam web site is misleading - it suggests that City and County are fully behind the proposal and makes a mockery of planning process.

* this site development - a key development needs proper coordinated planning to ensure measurable outcomes, some of the ideas being presented need real scrutiny , jobs, envirnment, transport hub, housing .

Alarm bells

The fact that Tesco are presenting the project on a very slim and evidence base (see their flimsy website) alerts you to who stands to gain most .

Tescos and the Developers

The other partners? Who are they? - social housing , business units, hotel etc are not mentioned do they exist?
Probably not - at this stage .

Impact on house prices- Set to tumble in Cottam

House values are already falling in Cottam as a result of this propsed scheme which removes all the added 'rural ' value - Cottam and Ingol will be next to the Tesco shed!

This in itself is not a reason to object but it does provide a focus! Homes or shopping

    Community and Business an alternative

What it would be good to see is a County and City partnership to create a transport hub - train, bus ,park and ride and water bus interchange.

Some mixed affordable housing - shared ownership for young local people, a small farmers market on a mixed use covered part of the site, some much needed 'clean' small business start up units eg a high technology park with hub model for shared working to develop new business and shared models of enterprise , a nature development visitor park for local people , schools and to preserve the rarer aspects of the sites natural history,

This is a great opportunity - but not for another shopping site when so much more could be done with greater benefit. Lets not miss this window?

Would wish to support more "added value" on a local investment model from this site ?

Post your comments or write and let people know what you think....

If you are a member of the public write /email your councillors

Write to:
* County Hall ,
* Preston City - planning
* the LEP ,
* your MP
* your local managers of M&S, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsburys etc.

Declaration of interest - I shop and am a stakeholder in Tesco as a business. A business run on sound profit lines, which makes it a leading retailer , however that pursuit of profit must and should be balanced by a social audit and impact perspective .


The Partnering Event was a three-day convocation of over 130 front line partnership practitioners from business, government and civil society taking place in Cambridge, UK, 2006, on the art and science of partnerships for sustainable development

'The Partnership Declaration': a public challenge to donors, policy makers and sector leaders to create the necessary enable environment in which partnerships for sustainable development might thrive, based on the realities on the ground. The Declaration was partly based on the results of a survey sent to around 250 partnership practitioners in the run-up to the Event visit the site above

On 1 May 2007, over 1,000 business leaders pledged to take action on climate change at The Prince of Wales's May Day Business Summit on Climate Change. The event began a national movement of businesses taking a lead in moving the UK toward a low carbon economy.

We can not just keep throwing supermarkets at precious brownfield sites when the priorities are higher for mixed developments based on local agendas of business and community need.

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