Tesco and Hale End Library: an Offer to Refuse

, 28 August 2016, Tags:

Mick Holloway and Robert Tatam collecting signatures outside Hale End Library

We should not be surprised that Tesco are trying to recover from their original mistake in over-estimating the footfall their supermarket would generate in Highams Park as well as ignoring the feelings of local people.

Despite the amazing “Save Hale End Library” protests which had unprecedented unanimous support from the community and local parties across the political spectrum and which resulted in a firm statement made by the council at the scrutiny committee on August 3rd that discussions with Tesco were at an end regarding the possible move of the library to a retail unit on Signal Walk, Tesco have submitted a change of use application for that unit to allow it to become a library, community building or offices.

Not wishing to teach Tesco the rules of the capitalist doctrine they espouse, but if no-one has come forward to take on that retail unit over the three years it has remained empty, perhaps it has something to do with the price they are charging for its location. It is not for the council to bail Tesco out of its predicament, especially not against overwhelming opposition by the local community. The change of use application should be rejected.

Mick Holloway
Hatch Lane Ward Resident and Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party member

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