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The Laz Word

Exclusive: Larry Neild faces the facts as Tesco moves in on Liverpool's historic Hope Street

Published on September 4th 2009.

The Laz Word

Tesco in Hope Street?

Your very own Liverpool Confidential spilled the value-priced beans about Sir Terry’s plans to have a Tesco on every corner, including posh Hope Street.We even suggested a Waitrose may be considered, by some, as more appropriate; a place where Coutts & Co cash cards are more relevant than a Clubcard.

There may be some sympathy for those who say a Tesco is unsuited to Hope Street, but under planning rules it would seem they are on a loser. The council has no power to prevent Tesco opening on Hope Street

Should Tesco open yet another outlet in a street where His Holiness the Pope, the Queen and Condaleezza Rice have trodden?

Remember Sir Terry is a Freeman of Liverpool, and under a charter granted by Lord Sainsbury, is legally entitled to herd a flock of shelf-stackers, oops sorry, stock replenishment operatives, along Castle Street (next target a Tesco one wonders?)

The Hope Street site, neighbouring the world famous Phil drinkery, provides a better future than a boarded-up bar, and there is something safe about well-run stores, usually open until 10pm or 11pm.

A few years ago there was a massive fuss in Chester when McDonald’s wanted to open a burger bar opposite the cathedral. The expletives generated by opponents would have justified late night services in God’s big house for forgiveness.

The issue was how would a well known, in your face, distinctive branded fast food restaurant sit within a historic setting and conservation area? They eventually resolved the issue by allowing McD’s to open for business on the condition the signage, including the familiar M, was inside the restaurant. It’s visible from the street beyond large plate glass windows, but it did not seem to spoil the ambience of the historic cathedral square.

When the very same company wanted to build an outlet close to Wapping Dock it had to construct the building in stone, with controlled signage, reflecting its location.

So perhaps Tesco could follow the example with bespoke signage to reflect the historic environment of Hope Street?

I can image Sir Terry ex-communicating Cllr Bernie Turner for her reported comments on the anti-Tesco internet facebook site called 'There is just something plain wrong about a Tesco on Hope Street.'

She wrote: 'We do not need another tacky red and blue outpost of Sir Terry’s evil empire.'

Hmm. Strong words. There is nothing to compel opponents to shop at the store so they can let their purses and wallets do the talking and walking. Yet grocery shopping until recent times was virtually extinct in the city centre.

There may be some sympathy for those who say a Tesco is unsuited to Hope Street, but under planning rules it would seem they are on a loser. The council has no power to prevent Tesco opening on Hope Street. The issue is signage, and it would seem a compromise will have to be reached.

We are not going to see the re-opening of grand grocery stores such as Kirklands and Coopers of Church Street, Reeces or the Kardomah.

Every Tesco in the city centre I visit seems to be thriving, which makes me wonder how people have survived until now. It also makes me realise Tesco’s business judgement is paying dividends.

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40 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Geoff BoycottAugust 24th 2009.

Tescos will flourish as long as people shop there. A branch that is boycotted is a branch that will close very quickly.

annoymouseAugust 24th 2009.

i love Brian Sewell ! and i think some of the things abvout L8 where wrong! i live in Chester and Liverpool was given funding on the back of Chester helping out by saying it was the Gateway to Liverpool to help boost both economys! BUTwe got leftout!

Ay!Carmela!August 24th 2009.

Is it true that Larry Neild is connected to October Communications who are PR Agents for Liverpool Vision which in turn is run by Terry Leahy of Tesco's?Surely not!

DigAugust 24th 2009.

I wonder if I could sue the person who said I look like Masterspy. That was both excessively rude and defamatory.

DigAugust 24th 2009.

Great news. The premises that Tesco had their eye on is going to be a new Korova Bar. Bad news, the old Korova is closing so I'll have a long walk out of the vicinity of my usual boozers to go to the new one.

annoymouseAugust 24th 2009.

go on facebook and see the site www.facebook.com/…/group.php… see what people are saying there!

Mike NearyAugust 24th 2009.

Dear Rah - I know all about Patrick St in Dublin. In addition to the Cathedrals, how many theatres did you count last time you there. I chose my words carefully.

STOPpressTESCOAugust 24th 2009.

TESCO has this week deposited two plans with LCC. They can be viewed on the council website. 09F/1763 is an application for external alterations to 32 Hope Street and a new customer entrance. 09F/1761 seeks permission for Tesco to install plant and equipment at roof level.Those opposed to the development should consider the following. It will be important to establish, probably via Central Ward councillors, Nick Small, Sharon Sullivan and Christine Banks, whether the Tesco applications will come before the Planning Committee or dealt with by law of Delegated Powers, which would mean the planning department deciding the issues. If the council is minded to deal under delegation it will be important for pressure to be place to insist on it coming before the committee. The officer dealing with the application is Ms Anne-Marie Piedot.Looking at the site history it would appear, at face value, this application in planning terms is non-contentious. Perhaps posters welcoming visitors to Liverpool's proposed World Heretic Site could be a starter.

Correspondence courseAugust 24th 2009.

Yes, I agree. They are still doing PR for the Liverpool Culture Company and that doesn't even exist any more. Aha! Get out of that one Jon Egan!

DigAugust 24th 2009.

Of course Roadkill didn't fit in the cultural image of Hope Street. When people think of Hope Street they think of the cathedrals, quality restaurants, listed buildings and theatre, not a dump of a pub populated with sweaty goths, skaters and rock kids. There is already a lovely place for that particular type of youth culture. It's called The Krazyhouse. There is nothing elitist about Hope Street. Anybody is welcome to visit the places there although some do have a minimum dress code. Unlike The Krazyhouse, which has a 'maximum' dress code.

Ay!Carmela!August 24th 2009.

"if October did ever..." Oh dear, that's me told.Still, Tescos have been halted in their plans for city saturation. There may be some sympathy for those who say a Tesco is suited to Hope Street, but according to public opinion it would seem they are on a loser.

Local GirlAugust 24th 2009.

Perhaps they should put one somewhere around Myrtle Parade forcing it to resurface its shocking road and to rid the area of lurking characters and chip papers.. Saying that, it would threaten the business of the great little shops already there... You can't win but at least people wouldn't moan about desecration!

Pop TartAugust 24th 2009.

Dig.... the candle stickmaker is long gone, made way for a Flame n Wok i'm afraid!

DigAugust 24th 2009.

Go on Tesco Terrior. Tell us..

DigAugust 24th 2009.

I didn't have access to a p.c for a few weeks. As you know.

DigAugust 24th 2009.

The whole city in steep decline? Care to elaborate and add a little more credence to your your comment Kris?

NoNoNoNoNoAugust 24th 2009.

I agree with Laz there's nothing, as such, to stop Tesco opening in Hope Street. But there should be some way of stopping them in their tracks. It's not against Tesco, the same arguement would apply to the others.The only way to halt this is to organise a petition to Sir T and ask me to find somewhere in Hardman Street instead. Hope Street is generally a cultural oasis in Liverpool and should be kept that way. Talking of culture, did anyone hear Brian Sewell's unkind snipe at Liverpool 08 on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning. Naughty man.

DigAugust 24th 2009.

Isn't the Tesco Express on Brownlow Hill directly behind The Metropolitan Cathedral 'doorstep' enough for Hope Street? If they put another Tesco in what used to be Roadkill those 2 Tesco's would be approximately 300 metres apart? For Christ The Kings sake even students aren't that lazy!

Tom WallaceAugust 24th 2009.

As well as higher prices, these little kiss-me-arse branches of Tesco don't offer a full service to customers such as 'cashback'. Get a Co-Op on instead

Mike NearyAugust 24th 2009.

Well Larry - classic capitalist arguments there, nothing wrong with that, we are a democracy after all. When I set up Facebook group it did cross my tiny little mind that people could of course vote with thier wallets / feet and if they get the sign right - well - it'l be jst like having our very own Fortnam & Mason next to the Phil', back in the real world, delivery vans and plastic bags may jar with the only street in the world that has a Cathedral at either end, two theatres etc etc etc etc

KrisAugust 24th 2009.

Bit like the whole city....

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

I fear the way things will develop has already been set by consent to the demolition (this week?) of Josephine Butler House, opposite the delightfully named Roadkill. The JBH site will, I understand, also host grocery stores and perhaps other retail outlets as well. So if people wanted no supermarket-y things on Hope Street - and there could be a debate about that - there should have been more voices joining those who fought against destruction of the nationally significant J.B. House.So, whilst I might be wrong, I guess the only issue now is, as Larry says, that of appropriate shop signage etc.If the overall ambiance of Hope Street is now destroyed, it will be yet another irreversible act of unforgivable civic vandalism.

DigAugust 24th 2009.

Opening a new Tesco store on Hope Street isn't Roadkill. It's overkill. There are already 3 Tesco Express stores are minutes walk from Hope Street. One up by Smithdown Lane, one in the middle of Mount Pleasant and one at the top of Brownlow Hill (direcctly behind The Metropolitan Cathedral) Isn't the one on Brownlow Hill already convenient enough for Hope Street and surrounding residents? Surely we can manage without another on Hope Street. It's desecration, it's blaspheme.

RahAugust 24th 2009.

Dublin's cathedrals are either end of Patrick St, so not that unique. Hope St is a beautiful road, undoubtably. I fail to see how a Tesco there will take anything away from that. Having read the comments on the facebook group the people seemed to dislike the existence of Roadkill too. These people seem to think they have the right to decide what is "acceptable" upon "their" street.

DigAugust 24th 2009.

We do have a right to decide what is acceptable upon our street. The city and it's streets belongs to the people. Roadkill wasn't and a Tesco would not be befitting of a place in 'our' cultural quarter. You wouldn't see a newsagent trading out of one of the cathedrals. A Tesco on Hope Street would be the beginning of the end of the special atmosphere on Hope Street. It wouldn't be long before Hope Street was No Hope Street.

Read Joyce and be merryAugust 24th 2009.

Hope Street needs a proper bookshop. Council planning policies wiped out the bona fide cultural shops in the area such as 'Atticus' and 'Out-of-Print' fifteen or more years ago to make way for new bars and junk food shops turning the area into a scally/student vomitorium. At one time there was a Parry Books next door to the Philharmonic pub. Culturally this area has been in steep decline for years.

ADAugust 24th 2009.

Roadkill catered for a particular branch of youth culture. why does that not fit with the cultural quarter image of hope street? or is it just elitist cultural quarter that your after?Having a tesco or any other convenience store on hope street simply isnt the end of the world. I am now rather hoping permision is denied and a sex shop sets up instead!

Tesco TerrierAugust 24th 2009.

Anyone hear the news on Friday?

A. J. BuckinghamAugust 24th 2009.

Cultural image? What culture? The Everyman is to close soon for rebuilding, the Art School is being turned into flats and most of the rest of the street has been taken over by bars and restaurants. The area was once a 'bohemian' area where a certain type of liberal, non-violent intelligent person (whether student or normal worker) would socialise. Unfortunately the Council decreed this area an “entertainment” area about ten years ago where people, particularly students, are now officially encouraged to go to binge-drink, eat junk food and vomit in the street. The area fundamentally changed some time ago for the worse.Tesco will do well here, students like safe, cheap, unadventurous fare, processed convenience food, cheap beer and 24-hour availability on their doorsteps. They don't want their parochial suburban values challenged. They'll love another Tesco on their doorstep. Of course it won't be as cheap as a 'proper' big Tesco in the suburbs but they'll be too pis*ed to notice.

CorrespondentAugust 24th 2009.

"Larry and/or October Comms do not work or perform any PR or marketing function for Liverpool Vision."Hmm, what have we here? http://www.octobercomms.co.uk/clients.html .Either someone's guilty of a terminological inexactitude, or the website really needs to be updated.

ADAugust 24th 2009.

Is the tesco going to be nextdoor to or replacing the ROADKILL bar? if it is surely the arguments over signage and good taste are are blown out of the water!

KnowledgeableAugust 24th 2009.

Surely not! is right. Larry Neild does, however, earn a crust at October, and while every little helps I don't expect Terry Leahy's tentacles stretch into Larry's PR briefs.

ZarinAugust 24th 2009.

They should quake before you, masterspy!

Liverpool wagAugust 24th 2009.

Keep up Dig. I read this in the Livconf food round up a week last Tuesday.

PeacemakerAugust 24th 2009.

Let's call a truce in Hope Street. We'll compromise and accept an M&S.

DigAugust 24th 2009.

Talking of blasphemy and desecration I regularly get drunk in Alma De Cuma. I guess that makes me a bit of a hypocrite. Either way we certainly don't need a Tesco on Hope Street. You didn't mention how your local candlestick maker doing Pop Tart.

Pop TartAugust 24th 2009.

I got a Teasco at the end of my road in Claughton Village on the Wirral, we all signed the petitions against it and it still went ahead! I live 2 houses away from it and when i asked why i was not informed about the meetings etc i was told i was not in the catchment area!!!!! We have, or should i say had, our own butcher, he closed yesterday...our own baker, a Spar and a Co-Op - work that one out! The parking is now a nightmare in my road, and although i do believe we have all voted with our feet and not shopped there, it hasnt stopped them building it! And its bl**dy expensive too!

JoanAugust 24th 2009.

We just don't need a "Tesco on every corner". I would like Sir Tezza to concentrate on the service and food quality in the shops he already has - apart from the Clayton Square store which I presume has a very good manager, the rest of the new small Tesco shops are pretty bad - out of date food still on shelves, dodgy old fruit and veg and staff who just don't want to be there, especially in the Bold Street shop, where they just seem to have given up on life...The staff in the new big shop on Hanover Street are lovely, but the shop is a layout nightmare -planned by someone who never does their own weekly shop obviously!It would be lovely to see something in that space on Hope Street, but not another Tesco.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

I'm sure Liverpool Confidential and Laz played a part in Tesco's decision to pull out by drawing attention to their proposals. So well done both of you and keep up the good work.

Liverpool wagAugust 24th 2009.

I don't know anything??????

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