Ulverston brewery boycott
Last updated at 14:53, Friday, 08 July 2011
A BATTLE plan has been drawn up to fight a proposed supermarket in Ulverston.
And one of the actions being considered by members of the group behind it is a boycott on ale brewed by Robinsons, the owners of the site earmarked for development.
Robinson’s has applied to build the supermarket for a “high-end” company on its former brewery site – and claimed it would boost the town centre economy and not unduly affect existing businesses.
But a packed public meeting of Ulverston residents, traders and councillors heard the development would close down independent retailers and ruin the town.
By the end of the meeting in Ford Park House, a campaign committee had been formed and the first steps of an action plan were in place.
Other proposed actions included a campaign website, a petition, leafleting, use of social media, and letters to Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock.
People in attendance were also against Sainsbury’s proposed development on the outskirts of Ulverston.
But it was decided efforts should first be geared towards the Robinson’s plan, because it goes before planning chiefs in October.
Among the most passionate speakers was writer Paul Kingsnorth, who lives in The Gill, Ulverston, and is author of the book Real England – The Battle Against the Bland, which explores the impact of economic globalisation.
He told Wednesday night’s meeting: “I can’t think of another situation where a supermarket on this scale has benefited a town.
“The idea it’s going to help the town is a fantasy. It will close shops. It will change the character and it will affect tourism.”
Robinson’s application said up to 200 jobs would be created.
Mr Kingsnorth claimed that in other towns with new supermarkets there was usually a net loss of jobs, because shops were forced out of business.
He gave advice on how to pursue the campaign, and said: “You have to be direct. You have to get straight in – provide evidence there’s strong public opposition.
“I don’t think it will be difficult to take the application apart.”
Mr Kingsnorth said it would be useful to suggest an alternative use for the site, which prompted one suggestion of a heritage centre.
The plan features 105 parking spaces under the supermarket and an underpass to take shoppers under Brewery Street to the main entrance.
Doug Gillam, owner of Gillam’s Tearoom, told the meeting: “The nature of the development going underground, in a town with the heritage we have, it will look like you’re driving into Basingstoke or Luton, or any 100 mundane places you could name.”
Former Lancashire MP Colin Pickthall, who chaired the meeting, said he had received 85 replies to 300 questionnaires sent out to residents neighbouring the site – and three quarters were against.
He said there were 1,000 homes near the planned development that would be affected.
Mr Pickthall said: “The Robinson’s development will devalue houses around and about it, and certainly do something horrific to the traffic. The traffic plans are absolute madness in my view.”
First published at 13:05, Friday, 08 July 2011
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
My Great Grandfather along with his brothers once owned Robinson bros New Brewery Ulverston and my grandmother was born and bred in ulverston, which I think gives me a right to have my say.
I once loved Ulverston for its unique charm, elligance and history with no other rival in cumbria/lancashire.I haven't been shopping in Ulverston for over 5 years now and the reason for this is... It has lost it's charactor starting with the Booths supermarket, then the re-modeling of the cobbled streets,then Tesco, then expensive car parks. This has led to erosion of this wonderful gem of a town. You don't need another supermarket, you donn't need another cloned town. Ulverston has it's herratage, history, charactor. What Ulverston does need, is people who care enough to save it from becoming just another town. The market stalls have suffered since Boothes and Tesco arrived and so have many shops. Just think what will happen to the shops you have, just look at Barrow and many other towns. When you spend in local busnesses they in turn spend in the town and get involved in the community. Profits from supermarkets go to investers and have no interest in townspeople. Robinsons have always had an eye on their investment and probibly knew that one day they would move their brewing to stockport " no loyaly there",Time to stop drinking Robinson Beer maybe.
I am an ulverstonian born and bred and that wasn't the majority of people in the coronation hall because the majority of the town stayed at home and we are the people that want these supermarkets to come here because we are sick and tired of having no choice and most of our shops are closing anyway and Saturday market used to be excellent but now it is like a Sunday so what traders can offer jobs especially the market stalls that's right they can't because all they want is making their own back pockets fatter come everywhere shuts a 3 in the afternoon in sleepy old ulverston well if we don't get sainsburys or the new robinsons supermarket then don't go moaning when prices of your shopping goes up because it will and as for the old dear wanting a heritage centre I do beleive we had one but it closed down no what ulverston needs is more competition and more choice because I bet most of the people aren't true ulverstonians anyway so what do they know what is good for this town if they don't like then leave simple as that because we need these supermarkets and more
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