Tesco is pulling out of plans to open a store on the site of the Lewes Road Community Garden, according to information released by the Green Party today (Thursday 16 September).
Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas said that she was delighted to learn of the u-turn from David North, Tesco’s community and government director.
Dr Lucas had two recent meetings with Tesco’s corporate and legal affairs team, along with Brighton Green councillor Ian Davey and the founder of the Lewes Road Community Garden, Cathy Marchand.
They sought to persuade Tesco to review its decision to lease one of the shop units in the new development on the site.
At a meeting with the MP this morning, Mr North said: “Tesco is not the owner or developer of this site.
“We were approached by the developer, after they had secured planning permission from the council, to take one of the retail leases.
“However, there is clearly a great deal of ongoing local debate about the site, the future of the community garden, and the question of whether it should be developed.
“We believe the future of the community garden should be resolved locally, by the community and by its representatives.
“We do not think it is helpful for us to become the unintended focus of this debate, nor do we want to become an obstacle to it being resolved by the local community.
“We have therefore decided to remove ourselves from the issue by confirming that we will not now be seeking to open a store as part of this proposed development.”
Caroline Lucas said: “I am absolutely delighted that Tesco has listened to the specific concerns the local community have about development on this site and I warmly welcome their decision.
“I pay tribute to all the local people who have fought such a tireless campaign to preserve the community garden.”
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