Frustration as Tesco fences off public footpath

The Oxford Times: Eric Perkins, front, and other protesters at the fenced-off old Friar pub site which Tesco is to build on. Picture: OX57112 Ed Nix Buy this photo Eric Perkins, front, and other protesters at the fenced-off old Friar pub site which Tesco is to build on. Picture: OX57112 Ed Nix

TESCO is facing a backlash after it fenced off a public footpath and a piece of green space at a controversial site in Marston.

The company has been planning since 2008 to turn the old Friar pub at the corner of Marston Road and Old Marston Road into a supermarket despite local opposition.

With work yet to begin Tesco has erected a fence around the site because of concerns about its state of repair.

But the fence has sparked uproar as residents claim it is blocking off a public footpath and much-loved green space.

Crotch Crescent resident Eric Perkins, 54, accused Tesco of using “bully boy tactics”.

He said: “This fence has blocked off the footpath in front of the old pub and also the area of grass and trees in front of that.

“In Marston we are very passionate about our green space and our trees because it gives a feeling of open space to the area.

“There was no public notice about this fence. Someone just turned up and started to erect it, blocking off a public right of way.”

County council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “Contractors working for Tesco have erected a fence which encroached on to the highway and we have informed them that it must be removed from this area.

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“When the company begins drawing up plans for the building works we will discuss with them the exact working area that they will need so that we can agree and license any fencing.”

Tesco has had planning permission to turn the building into a supermarket since June 2011 after planning inspector Andrew Pykett ruled on appeal in the company’s favour.

This sparked fears about the future of trees near the pub, which were planted on Armistice Day 1950 to commemorate the people of Marston who died in the Second World War.

The fears were allayed when Tesco revealed it would save the trees, but work has yet to begin on the site.

A group of local residents has also attempted to gain control of the area of grass outside the pub via a common law process called adverse possession, where members of the public can taken physical control over land with the aim of owning it.

Roger Baycock, who runs saxophone shop Allegro Oxford opposite the site, was part of the attempt to gain ownership of the land.

He said: “This land does not belong to Tesco and we don’t accept this fencing is necessary.”

Tesco spokesman Simon Petar said the additional fence was installed following discussions with the city council to add security to the car park and the former beer garden at the back.

Meanwhile, Tesco is still refusing to give a firm timetable for a new store on the site of the derelict Fox and Hounds pub in Abingdon Road, South Oxford.

Comments (12)

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7:53pm Fri 1 Feb 13

OxfordStu says...

Presumably the people complaining are the same people who used to park there? No doubt concerned that they'll need to find an actual space, rather than using someone else's land without permission?
Presumably the people complaining are the same people who used to park there? No doubt concerned that they'll need to find an actual space, rather than using someone else's land without permission? OxfordStu
  • Score: 0

8:29pm Fri 1 Feb 13

oxchris says...

Much loved green space? It's a grass verge outside a disused pub! And there is a footpath about 2 metres away from the one that has been closed, which is not a public footpath but a pub car park! This Tesco-bashing is becoming tiresome.
Much loved green space? It's a grass verge outside a disused pub! And there is a footpath about 2 metres away from the one that has been closed, which is not a public footpath but a pub car park! This Tesco-bashing is becoming tiresome. oxchris
  • Score: 0

10:01pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Alfie Nokes says...

B.
D.
S.
B. D. S. Alfie Nokes
  • Score: 0

12:21am Sat 2 Feb 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

I spy Mick Haines in that photo and I claim my £5. Does he have only one coat?
I spy Mick Haines in that photo and I claim my £5. Does he have only one coat? Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 1

2:32am Sat 2 Feb 13

Myron Blatz says...

It's kinda weird - ask people if they want more convenience stores (even if the goods will cost more) and many say 'yes' - but ask them if they want yo lose more open spaces and public rights of way, and the answer is NO! As for Tesco, the company has given itself a bad public image over the years with buying land and then 'sitting' on it stop competition from even local retailers, let alone other multinationals - and the Coop is apparently just as bad across the UK. The fault, however, lies with planning authorities and local Councils being too-eager to see 'job creation' promises, often for students and part-time workers on low pay-scales.
It's kinda weird - ask people if they want more convenience stores (even if the goods will cost more) and many say 'yes' - but ask them if they want yo lose more open spaces and public rights of way, and the answer is NO! As for Tesco, the company has given itself a bad public image over the years with buying land and then 'sitting' on it stop competition from even local retailers, let alone other multinationals - and the Coop is apparently just as bad across the UK. The fault, however, lies with planning authorities and local Councils being too-eager to see 'job creation' promises, often for students and part-time workers on low pay-scales. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

4:02am Sat 2 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

Much loved "green space" HA HA. I have never seen it being used by the locals except to let their dogs have a poo on it, and a pee against the trees. And in this weather you would need wellies just to walk across it. And really the residents should be blaming friend of The OM Clinton Pugh, as it were he who bought the pub cheaply under the guise of building flats and shops there (was never going to happen) and then sold it on to Tesco for a pretty little profit. Now that was property speculation at it's most ugly.
Much loved "green space" HA HA. I have never seen it being used by the locals except to let their dogs have a poo on it, and a pee against the trees. And in this weather you would need wellies just to walk across it. And really the residents should be blaming friend of The OM Clinton Pugh, as it were he who bought the pub cheaply under the guise of building flats and shops there (was never going to happen) and then sold it on to Tesco for a pretty little profit. Now that was property speculation at it's most ugly. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

10:47am Sat 2 Feb 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

If those properties had been demolished or rebuilt as residential properties, it would be disgraceful and anti-social if the locals were taking short-cuts across a private drive.

Clearly the area needs an improved retail experience. I'd suggest demolishing the current 3 retail units and rebuild as a triple width supermarket with integrated pharmacy.

Above the supermarket new student accommodation.

And the proposed Tesco? A Starbucks Local.
If those properties had been demolished or rebuilt as residential properties, it would be disgraceful and anti-social if the locals were taking short-cuts across a private drive. Clearly the area needs an improved retail experience. I'd suggest demolishing the current 3 retail units and rebuild as a triple width supermarket with integrated pharmacy. Above the supermarket new student accommodation. And the proposed Tesco? A Starbucks Local. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

11:20am Sat 2 Feb 13

oafie says...

........."The OM Clinton Pugh, as it were he who bought the pub cheaply under the guise of building flats and shops there (was never going to happen) and then sold it on to Tesco for a pretty little profit. Now that was property speculation at it's most ugly."

Oh so very true.......Pugh...'t
he man of the people' .................. he had no qualms about gazumping me when I had already spent money on buying a certain leasehold property along the Cowley Rd.
........."The OM Clinton Pugh, as it were he who bought the pub cheaply under the guise of building flats and shops there (was never going to happen) and then sold it on to Tesco for a pretty little profit. Now that was property speculation at it's most ugly." Oh so very true.......Pugh...'t he man of the people' .................. he had no qualms about gazumping me when I had already spent money on buying a certain leasehold property along the Cowley Rd. oafie
  • Score: 0

3:05am Sun 3 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

oafie wrote:
........."The OM Clinton Pugh, as it were he who bought the pub cheaply under the guise of building flats and shops there (was never going to happen) and then sold it on to Tesco for a pretty little profit. Now that was property speculation at it's most ugly."

Oh so very true.......Pugh...'t

he man of the people' .................. he had no qualms about gazumping me when I had already spent money on buying a certain leasehold property along the Cowley Rd.
Oafie, Isn't it amazing how a man more ruthless than Rupert Murdoch, can be portrayed as a local hero, when as we all know the opposite is the truth. That is the benefit of chums in The Press.
[quote][p][bold]oafie[/bold] wrote: ........."The OM Clinton Pugh, as it were he who bought the pub cheaply under the guise of building flats and shops there (was never going to happen) and then sold it on to Tesco for a pretty little profit. Now that was property speculation at it's most ugly." Oh so very true.......Pugh...'t he man of the people' .................. he had no qualms about gazumping me when I had already spent money on buying a certain leasehold property along the Cowley Rd.[/p][/quote]Oafie, Isn't it amazing how a man more ruthless than Rupert Murdoch, can be portrayed as a local hero, when as we all know the opposite is the truth. That is the benefit of chums in The Press. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Sun 3 Feb 13

OxfordStu says...

Well the fence has been moved, the "footpath" is clear and people are already parking on it. It's all just about people's laziness and their insistence that they can park where they like rather than actually having to put some effort in.

Hopefully the next story about this will be people complaining about the cars, but as the moaners are the ones who park there, that won't happen.
Well the fence has been moved, the "footpath" is clear and people are already parking on it. It's all just about people's laziness and their insistence that they can park where they like rather than actually having to put some effort in. Hopefully the next story about this will be people complaining about the cars, but as the moaners are the ones who park there, that won't happen. OxfordStu
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Sun 3 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

OxfordStu wrote:
Well the fence has been moved, the "footpath" is clear and people are already parking on it. It's all just about people's laziness and their insistence that they can park where they like rather than actually having to put some effort in.

Hopefully the next story about this will be people complaining about the cars, but as the moaners are the ones who park there, that won't happen.
Or maybe some morally minded person will park over the driveway blocking all of those illegal parkers in. Now that would be fun. Anybody got an old £50 banger they could use for it?
[quote][p][bold]OxfordStu[/bold] wrote: Well the fence has been moved, the "footpath" is clear and people are already parking on it. It's all just about people's laziness and their insistence that they can park where they like rather than actually having to put some effort in. Hopefully the next story about this will be people complaining about the cars, but as the moaners are the ones who park there, that won't happen.[/p][/quote]Or maybe some morally minded person will park over the driveway blocking all of those illegal parkers in. Now that would be fun. Anybody got an old £50 banger they could use for it? Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

Milkbutnosugarplease wrote:
I spy Mick Haines in that photo and I claim my £5. Does he have only one coat?
Mick is a pensioner, Mick gives his time in support of his locale, Mick was voted in by his peers to be a councillor. Mick being a pensioner has not the money to buy a wardrobe. What have you done apart from ridicule?
[quote][p][bold]Milkbutnosugarplease[/bold] wrote: I spy Mick Haines in that photo and I claim my £5. Does he have only one coat?[/p][/quote]Mick is a pensioner, Mick gives his time in support of his locale, Mick was voted in by his peers to be a councillor. Mick being a pensioner has not the money to buy a wardrobe. What have you done apart from ridicule? Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

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