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Tesco Villages, Supermarket to Build Affordable Social Housing.

Updated on February 21, 2013

Leisure centres, ice rinks and schools!

Before adopting the slogan 'every little helps' Tesco's original motto was 'pile it high and sell it cheap' seeing the potential for money making similar to that of a cash and carry approach. Lets hope the same will not apply to its new venture.......

Tesco the multi million pound supermarket market chain, which saw profits of three billion pounds last year as well as selling thirty three billion pounds worth of food and nine billion pounds worth of non-food products in the UK, are moving into the house building industry.

With plans to develop four 'tesco mini villages' around the UK, including south london's streatham, south east london's, woolwich and east london's Bromley-by-bow, as well as dartford in Kent.

Plans in illsington have already been passed and the other sites are due to follow through fairly quickly.

The plans are to build affordable housing for those currently unable to get a foot on the property ladder and to regenerate areas in desperate need of help. However understandably there is much skepticism over these plans.

The word village congers up images of Quint, rural sites rich in history community and good old fashion charm. However the super market villages are set to be a very different concept indeed. With one site being home to an ice rink and another set to be developed close to the 2012 Olympic site, coincidence?

For the greater good or for gaining monopoly?

Is this an act of altruism, philanthropy and a genuine act of helping those less fortunate? Of course not, even I'm not that optimistic, although it would be nice to think that the reason behind this new business initiative would be as a primary move to lessen the current housing problems in the UK and aid those on lower incomes a home. But unfortunately this is not the case, its just another example of big business getting bigger by finding a new route to expansion.

Tesco spokesman argue that it is just a case of private investment providing money where government is unable too and they are in fact providing amenities that will hugely benefit the community and surrounding areas. Tesco currently employ four hundred and forty thousand members of staff and claim more jobs will become available as a result of this project. But when you consider all the products and services that the supermarket provide is this not just another example of killing off yet more small businesses?

So whats in it for them?

Tesco has found ever increasingly difficult to obtain planning permission for new supermarkets, the public are starting to see the degeneration of local high streets and the detrimental effects of the supermarkets. Communities, councils and local businesses are increasingly suffering under the might of the supermarkets.

If there is such a backlash how do tesco's get around this? In 1990 a planning act was passed by the local planning authority (LPA) called a section 106 (S106) this included that the developer had to sign up to an agreement stating that the proposed development :

  • Was related fairly and reasonably related in kind and scale to the proposed development. (Meaning that they have to build it as they have proposed it, it must be of the same style and size as was shown when project was pursued)
  • Must be relevant to planning. (you can't ask to build and school and end up opening a strip club!)
  • The proposed development must be acceptable, in terms of planning. (Rules, regulations, health and safety must be met.)
  • Reasonable in all respects. (You can't build the equivalent to Vegas in the Yorkshire dales)

The 'mini villages' project was an idea that could get around all these issues and others that need to be passed by local councils.

This will increase profits for Tesco, as well as give them access to data they would never otherwise know and in short giving them even greater market share.

Will other supermarkets follow suit?

It's difficult to say for sure one way or the other, however it does look likely that this development will be a huge success and where one leads the rest tend to follow, so who knows tesco villages today, Morrison's and sainsburys towns tomorrow. Maybe even ASDA cities to come?


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      All things condsiered, this is a first class post

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      LOL! Thanks shazwellyn, good to see you again. :)

    • shazwellyn profile image


      8 years ago from Great Britain

      What goes around, comes around. History always repeats itself. Take a look at Clarks villages and Cadbury's in the past and you will see that these companies had developed a 'social responsibility' to their employees. They created social housing, leisure pursuits (like swimming pools) and social life for their employees. These companies had ethical considerations (unlike Tescos who only have a responsibility to the shareholder and the desire for absolute power - corrupts absolutely!). However, this is an old idea repackaged. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

      FYI: Mr Cohen (the founder of Tesco) once highlighted that a profit is only made once the toilet chain is pulled. *just a nice thought to leave you with* hehehe

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Your so right Amber it is only greater greed. Thank-you for your comment. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you Jayjay, it's not very well known thats why I wanted to cover it.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 

      8 years ago

      Hi wrenfrost

      Whenever shareholders and big business are involved the greater good is very rarely considered - only greater greed!


    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you praseio30, always good to see you my friend. :)

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you Polly C, you are so right we do seem to be a land ruled by big buisness.

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for commenting CMHypno, your right tesco's don't do anything unless profit is involved.

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you loveofnight, time will tell indeed.

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for your comment earthbeat, your right compared to the companies profits the community gains little.

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you for your comment katiem2, I agree it's nothing but greed.

    • jayjay40 profile image


      8 years ago from Bristol England

      Great hub, I didn't know supermarkets could do this. thanks for sharing

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I never know about this information before. But it open my eyes about kind of Supermarket out of my country. Good work!

    • wrenfrost56 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Thank-you sufidreamer, glad you made it out of tesco and I couldn't agree with you more. :)

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 

      8 years ago from UK

      Tesco are just plain greedy, and they are definitely destroying small communities. In a street just up the road from me, they wanted to buy some land to build one of their little shops on, which seem to be popping up all over the place at the moment. This is a busy residential street, full of small, independent shops - a real community. The local people did not want this and petitioned against it. The planning permisson was refused by Norwich City Council. Tesco appealed. The refusal was overturned at a higher Government level. So now Tesco have their own way. Somehow we have become a land that is ruled by big business.

      What is the point of a local council if they can't make decisions about their own city?

    • CMHypno profile image


      8 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Tesco's don't do anything unless its for profit, but as the government isn't building much social housing and a lot of the property developers and building companies have stopped building due to the recession, if some new housing stock gets built it can't be all bad - especially as the sites you mentioned are all urban. Not sure that anyone would want a Tesco village in the Lake District or anywhere near any of our beauty spots.

    • loveofnight profile image


      8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      nothing from nothing leaves what's the angle...... we will soon see

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I find what corporations say is always suspect, simply because it is so easy to spin what is said, and to control what is not said.

      In the US, a prime example of this is Massey Energy, the company which owns the West Virginia coal mine where 29 minters lost their lives earlier this month. Even as objective statistics with regard to safety violations were being released after the accident, the CEO on a conference call discussing first quarter earnings with the financial industry made Massey sound like the epitome of safety.

      Or Walmart, whose part time jobs and anti-union bias keep many thousands of people among the working poor presents itself as a magnificent supporter of the community. Never mind that the amount returned to communities is a pittance of the great profit which is made from keeping people at low wages.

      When a corporation announces something new that is supposedly good for the community, almost always it will be even better for the company.

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      wrenfrost, ohhhhhh sounds risky, in the states those words make any savy soul tremble... Greed, you know what they say about it! Well Done Tesco Villages Supermarket Housing Hub. Interesting read for those of us across the pond! Thanks and Peace :)

    • Sufidreamer profile image


      8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Good Hub, Wren

      I worked for Tesco for many years, and they are a vile, self-serving company. I can guarantee that they are only doing this because they will get something out of it and make money by screwing somebody. They killed enough communities already - this is just another way to turn the screw even more.

      Very glad that I am away from that particular insanity - I hope that the British consumers starts to realise that these companies are one of the causes of all that is wrong with the UK.


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