Monday, 21 November 2011


Southborough straddles the A26, the main feeder road to Royal Tunbridge Wells from the north.  It is a very busy road and subject to severe congestion.  The town's shops face onto the A26.  Tesco plans to come to town.  The store would be located just off the A26 and there can be little doubt that most customers would use cars and not public transport.   It will put further pressure on roads notorious already for congestion and delays. 

Unsurprisingly, there is strong opposition to the proposed store (and it has to be said, some support).  The three major grounds of objection are: the increase in congestion, damage to the trade local shops and the loss of open space used by the community.

The campaign against Tesco's proposals (any any other supermarket) is led by the Southborough Environmental Action Movement (SEAM).  Website:

At a recent by-election the Conservative candidate won the seat from Labour.  The Liberal Democrats, UKIP and an Independents also contested the seat.  The Conservative candidate opposed approval being given for the building of a big supermarket and has since stated that this is the policy of the Conservative group on the Council.  The composition of the Council is:

Conservative         8
Labour                  8
Liberal Democrat  2

The chairman is a Labour councillor.

For the supermarket to go ahead land owned by the Council will have to be purchased by the developer.  SEAM is pressing for the Council to vote not to sell the land.  I shall follow this with interest to see if the idea of a vote gains any traction and if so, who puts the motion forward.  More than a few residents will be interested to note how far the votes of councillors accord with election promises made by all three political parties.

It will an interesting test of the spirit of localism, which we are informed by Mr Pickles will now pervade local government.

Southborough is on Greg Clark's patch which adds to the interest.

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