Lewes Road Community garden takes protest to court

Posted On 21 Jun 2010 at 8:19 am

A demonstration is expected to take part outside Brighton County Court this morning as developers take action to evict the Lewes Road Community Garden.

The owners of the former petrol station site, Belfast-based Alburn Minos Development Ltd, are taking the action so they can start work building stores there, one of which is set to be taken over by Tesco.

The guerilla gardeners originally said they would vacate the plot once building work was ready to begin – but once it was revealed the tenant would be Tesco, they dug their heels in.

Campaigner Duncan Blinkhorn told supporters on Facebook: “As you may already know, the Lewes Road Community Garden is in the dock with proceedings to evict our lovely community garden to make way for a Tesco and more flats crammed into an already overcrowded part of the city.

“Please come along, if you can, from 9am to 10am to show support for the garden. Let’s make it as colourful and flowery as we can.”

Meanwhile, the Green Party is calling for a boycott of the store if and when it is built.

St Peter’s and North Laine councillor Pete West said: “Local people don’t want or need a Tesco, and I am deeply opposed to plans for yet another supermarket in a road that already has a Co-op supermarket, a Sainsbury’s, a Spar and a very good Turkish mini-market.

“The last thing the Lewes Road needs is another supermarket that nobody has asked for. I am asking residents to show Tesco that a new store would be a failure, by pledging to boycott it.”

Meanwhile Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas has urged Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to do all he can to stop the building of yet another supermarket on Lewes Road and has called for a competition test to halt the unchecked growth of super-markets and the devastating impact it has on local businesses, local communities and consumer choice.

In a letter to Mr Pickles and Planning Minister Greg Clarke she said: “The Competition Commission concluded that the dominance of any one retailer in a local area has a negative impact on consumer choice. It recommended a competition test to stop supermarkets opening a new store in places where they already control the local market. I am disappointed the Government is now delaying implementation of the competition test.”

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