Gay Brown 2009.

Campaign Consultant

I have been asked to put together some information on the traffic evidence we have acquired to counter the information submitted by Tesco for the proposed store in Ashtead. Tesco have predicted traffic generation of 1,557 in per week and 1,551 out per week for a store of 750 sqm. This would appear to be unsupportable and a gross under-estimation.

Tesco often suggest a figure only one quarter of that which can be counted at their other equivalent sized stores. The car counts attached are from 6 different Tesco stores and were successfully used in the appeal hearings in the London Borough of Hillingdon in 2007 in Hillingdon Circus, in the Yiewsley in 2008 and in Harefield in 2009.

We would suggest particular attention is paid to the Ruislip Manor (280 sqm.) and Cowley (400 SQ.M.) counts since both are Express size stores and generate well in excess of the number stated by Tesco for this proposed Ashtead metro store WHICH IS approximately THREE times the size. of Ruislip AND APPROXIMATELY TWICE THE SIZE OF COWLEY.

The car counts attached were verified by Dr. Prakash of the Britannia Planning College, Harrow through Planning Aid for London. They were produced to rebut the evidence entered by Tesco in both the Hillingdon Circus and Yiewsley Appeal Hearings in 2007 & 2008.

Tesco’s submission to the London Borough of Hillingdon and onward to the Planning Inspectorate had suggested a traffic generation figure of 200 cars in and 200 out in their busiest hours (proposed store size of 7,390sqm.) During the Appeal proceedings they produced their own counts from Bull’s Bridge, Hayes (done by Boreham’s) which were more in the region of 400 in and 400 out which is the figure that eventually became accepted by the Inspector. However Transport for London sent an email to say they no longer considered the evidence submitted to be valid and it was this dispute that led Tesco to withdraw their application at Hillingdon Circus mid appeal. The car counts carried out by Yiewsley Community Involvement Group and the Ickenham Residents’ Association would suggest that Tesco’s figure of 400 in and 400 out in the busiest hour is still only 50% of that which is realistic.

The 5 stores that were chosen were because they were the ones suggested in a nine page rebuttal produced by Tesco in answer to Yiewsley Community Involvement Group’s initial Bull’s Bridge car count.

These car counts are attached with the actual car count done by YCIG added. In this rebuttal they tried to suggest that their year 2000 car count of Bull’s Bridge was acceptable (this was for 255 in and 287 out – still over their initial suggestion).

However, we then discovered that the store had been expanded after 2000 from 5,732 sqm. to 7,927sqm. This is a good example of Tesco’s continued attempts to mislead or disguise their true traffic generation and its impact and their habitual tendency to be less that truthful. None of the stores used in their rebuttal (except our suggested Bull’s Bridge) were in any way comparative in location and size to either the proposed Yiewsley or Hillingdon Circus stores.

TESCOPOLY then went on to count the cars from both Cowley and Ruislip which are Express sites (Sized between 280 and 400 sqm.). The Ruislip store only opened in 2007 and took 40,000 shopping baskets per week out of the local economy (figure from the Ruislip Chamber of Commerce). This Express Store produced a car count of 204 in and 208 cars out for just 280 sqm. of retail space in one hour on a Friday night 6 – 7 pm.

This makes Tesco’s suggestion that a 7,390 sqm. store in the two Hillingdon proposals would only produce 200 cars in and 200 out laughable!

This would suggest that a store of 750 sqm. at Ashtead could easily produce  three times the car generation of an Express store of 280 sq m.i.e. up to 535 cars in and 535 cars out per hour at peak times.

Boreham’s Supplementary Traffic Assessment (P5 para 2.1 dated 5.11.2008) suggestions also seem grossly underestimated.

As a cautionary note Tesco also use their net floor space figure against the gross floor space of other stores.

For any queries please contact me here via Gaynor Brown.

10th December 2009