Michael Gove seeks to discover Tesco’s intentions for its Lightwater vacant land site

I wrote HERE on July 4th 2013 that the planning inspectorate had approved Tesco’s plans for a Tesco Express in Lightwater. Some building materials were delivered to the site in June 2015. Since then, nothing. [photo taken in June 2015, no change since]

Lightwater is a vibrant village centre, all we’re missing is an eatery and a bank. Oh, sorry, we did have a bank and an Indian restaurant, or was it Chinese. That’s so long ago now, I forget.

I said I’d planned to write to Tesco about their intentions. However, a comment from Speedicus Triplicatum, on THIS article, suggested I speak with our estimable postmaster, Surinder Gandhum.

That I did today. Surinder tells me that he spoke recently with Michael Gove about the situation with Tesco Express, and that he has a copy of the letter that Michael has written to Tesco.

Good on Surinder for his tenacity, and Michael for taking on the issue. Guess we’ll continue to have to wait on Tesco.

A photo streetscape of Camberley High Street

The previous article on the Streetscapes photographic exhibition in Camberley, from 2nd-6th August, reminded me of the photos I took recently of Camberley High Street.

My photos were taken on the Saturday of the Camberley Carnival, where the High Street was devoid of vehicles, My photos my not be of the quality for an exhibition, but they are a record of the High Street in June this year.

A big day, No.3 of 3

Quelle surprise! I’m quoted on the front page of the Camberley News & Mail.

No longer being a borough councillor or Mayor, I’d not imagined that my name or what I’ve said would be worthy of the front page of the local newspaper. Heck, even the words on my blog are part of an article in the Camberley News and Mail about the imminent commencement of work to build a Tesco Express store in Lightwater.

I’m happy to be quoted, the contents of my blog are public domain. I don’t even copyright my photos, mainly because I’m a simple happy snapper, not a photographer. Well done to the press for focussing on little ‘ol Lightwater.

One small point, the article in the New and Mail has a photo that’s a few years old. Below is one I took today. Still no sign of work commencing, though Tesco have confirmed their intention to build a Tesco Express. Click of the images below to expand.

Tesco confirm intention to open a store in Lightwater

Our postmaster – Surinder Gandhum – is a tenacious fellow. He’s been pressing Tesco for some time on their intentions for a Tesco Express store in Lightwater. On Monday he received an email reply from Tesco, this is the material part of the note to Surinder, who kindly forwarded it to me

I can confirm that Tesco is committed to opening a store in Lightwater and are looking forward to serving customers in the area.  We are in the process of finalising our build timetable and although I can’t confirm an opening date at this stage we will keep the community updated going forward.  In the meantime we will endeavour to keep the site in a good condition and if you have any questions about this or any other issues please do not hesitate to contact me.

Chatting to the new manager of Lightwater’s Coop store

I met Peter Davey, the new manager – since January 2017 – of Lightwater’s Coop store, at the Lightwater Business Association’s networking evening on Tuesday evening.

In conversation with Peter, I asked what was the most popular item sold in the store. ‘Easy’, he said, ‘It’s bananas’. This confirms Lightwater shoppers are the same as those nationally, where bananas are also top of the list. Asked by me what was the second most purchased item, Peter said milk. Again the same nationally.

I didn’t have long to talk with Peter, though I did get to ask him of his plans for the store? Improving the look of the Square with plants, and engaging with local customers with a local Twitter account and Facebook page.

Lets wish Peter good luck, and hope he keeps improving the store and it’s lines. In the photo below, Peter is on the right looking straight into my camera.

 

Tesco Express to commence building in Lightwater in March

The planned Tesco Express store in Lightwater has remained in a state of suspension for three years. The site is an eyesore, and hasn’t added to Lightwater’s ambiance in any way at all.

I learn, from a reliable source that Tesco is intending to recommence building at some time in March. It remains a surprise to me, and I believe others too, that a village which already is well served by M&S Simply Food, Co-op Food store, George Arthur Butchers, and the Cook Shop will contain enough custom to support a Tesco Express store. Ah well, we’ll find out when the store opens.

Old photo of Lightwater’s Budgens used for news story

I happened, as is my wont, to be trawling through the days news, only to find a photo of a place I recognised. And the photo is of Budgens supermarket in Lightwater as it was around 10 years ago.

You’ll have to visit The Guardian’s story about the closure of 35 Budgens stores to see the photo as it’s copyrighted.

The nearest I can get to that photo is one I took in 2006 of Budgens in Lightwater. My photo is nowhere near as good as the one used by the news media. Reinforces my view that I’m a happy snapper with pretensions.