Inquiry starts into planned "Tesco Town"

22 Apr 2008

Campaigners were today taking on the might of Tesco at a public inquiry in Glasgow.

They began outlining their opposition to a new Tesco superstore at Partick, which has been dubbed "Tesco Town" .

More than 1000 objections have been received, most complaining about the impact a massive store would have on the area's existing shops.

Tesco also wants to build flats and a 600-space underground car park next to the 7500 sq m store on land between Beith Street and the River Kelvin.

A public inquiry was ordered by the Scottish Government last year after an appeal by Tesco about the length of time Glasgow City Council was taking to decide on the application.

It began today at the council's Cafe George premises at 266 George Street and could last a fortnight.

Tesco has insisted the development - on a former scrap yard - will be the "missing link" between the new developments along the River Clyde and the historic areas of Partick and Kelvinbridge.

The inquiry, in front of reporter Michael Culshaw, will hear from a number of the campaigners.

It will hear claims that traders will suffer, that the already congested area will see a huge increase in traffic, and that the superstore building will "dominate" the area.

Tesco said it plans to "play a full part" in the inquiry.

The company unveiled the plan in December 2005 and said it would bring much-needed jobs to the area.

But locals campaigned against it, with Partick councillor Aileen Colleran likening the planned building to a "Soviet-era high-rise monolith".

A campaign group, Stop Tesco Owning Partick (STOP), was formed and organised a number of vocal protests.

Tesco responded by scaling down plans but fury erupted last year when the company hired a demolition firm to knock down the historic Partick Central station ticket office.

Reproduced with the permission of The Evening Times(Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.