Councillor hits out over Tesco ‘broken promise’

UNFINISHED BUSINESS The Tesco Express in Eastney Road
UNFINISHED BUSINESS The Tesco Express in Eastney Road

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A councillor says he feels let down by a retail giant after claims it failed to keep a promise over erecting a fence for residents.

Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Councillor for the Eastney and Craneswater ward, said an agreement had been made with Tesco to build a six-foot fence for nearby houses close to the Express store in Eastney Road.

That was after residents had fears that the shop, which opened in February this year, could lead to more anti-social behaviour.

To date, though, Tesco has put up a fence around part of the perimeter around the store, with houses in Ringwood Road, which backs on to Eastney Road, separated by only a four-foot brick wall.

Cllr Stubbs criticised Tesco for its delay and, with plans for the supermarket chain to open a new superstore in Fratton, he called into question whether it could fulfil future promises.

He said: ‘Tesco wants to build a giant superstore just a mile away.

‘They’re asking us to trust them when they say it will not affect the traffic and when they say they will keep their existing stores open. How can we believe these big promises when they can’t even build a fence?

‘I thought I could trust them to keep their word. Tesco promised this fence would be built and, in not honouring their agreement, they’ve let down their neighbours. Why should people have to put up with an ongoing security risk?’

Some residents living close to the Tesco Express in Eastney Road are also concerned for their safety of them and their homes.

Margarita Wensley, from Ringwood Road, Eastney, said: ‘We were told by Tesco that they would build a fence all the way along but they stopped halfway through.

‘Anyone could get over the fence, in my garden and into my house. I should be able to feel safe but I don’t.

‘They told us a fence would go from house numbers 59 to 81 but they stopped at 60-something.

‘It really has made me angry and upset.’

A spokeswoman for Tesco said: ‘Prior to the store opening we worked with the council to explore the possibility of installing a fence at the rear of the site.

‘We do not own the land but are in discussions with the landowner to gain permission to install a standalone fence.’