The B.A.T.S Family Funday - Friday September 14th at the Meadows Cricket Club - is CANCELLED

(By order of the Committee of Belper Meadows Sports Club. Details below...)

The GUIDED WALK will still go ahead: Friday September 14th at 6.30pm meet at the Triangle to see what Belper loses if Tesco come to town! FREE!

I am required to point out that this site has nothing to do with, and is in no way endorsed by, Tesco PLC...





On Friday September 14th, we had planned a Family Funday event to be held at the Belper Meadows Sports Club. The free event was to feature stalls, children's entertainment, art and games, food, a guided walk to show the damage that the proposed Tesco Development will cause to the area and an evening of live music.

On Monday 27 August, with planning at an advanced stage, volunteers having committed time and money and many entertainers, artists and craftspeople already booked, we received the following email from the Chair of Belper Meadows Sports Club…

"Dear Sir/Madam

I understand you have booked the Pavilion at Belper Meadows Sports Club for Friday 14th September 2007. I am writing to inform you that Belper Meadows Sports Club Management Committee have, on legal advice, decided to cancel your booking that evening. This is due to unauthorised use of images of our facilities on your advertising posters, which contravene our terms of hire, and the implications that these give regarding our associations with B.A.T.S. Details on your website regarding our position are also misleading and incorrect.
I apologize for this method of contact, but as neither a name, number or deposit were left with our secretary, we have no other means of contacting you.
I would appreciate your confirmation of receipt of this email.
Yours sincerely
Mrs W Morris
Chair, Belper Meadows Sports Club"

The Belper Meadows Sports Club Management Committee has representatives from the Bowls, Hockey and Tennis Clubs which share the site. The Cricket Club on site is currently unrepresented. The Committee is currently dominated by the Hockey Club and Tennis Club.The group Treasurer (Tennis Club) is father in-law of the Chair (Hockey Club).

Obviously, some questions were raised by the email: On booking, we had never been asked for a deposit. "Terms of Hire" were never mentioned, and the "unauthorised use of images of our facilities" is very mysterious. The photograph of the Cricket Club was taken by me and was meant to remind people of what we will lose if Tesco come to town!

We know, from a Chair's statement issued to Sports Club Members, that the Sports Club are hoping for all manner of new facilities provided by Tesco, and have already agreed an "interim package" with the Retailer.

Does this mean (as we suspect it does) that Tesco are already wielding influence over a group in Belper?

In an effort to put things to rights as soon as possible, and allow the event to go ahead, our Events Co-ordinator, Oonagh McKay, sent the following response to the Chair on Tuesday the 28 August:

"Hello Wendy.

As BATS Events coordinator I was sent on your email regarding
your concerns about the event on the 14 September. I am sorry if there has
been a problem around communication but am sure that now we have made
contact we can sort things out to your satisfaction to enable the event to
carry on as planned on the 14 September.

Taking the points in turn from your email of the 27th-

We are very sorry if the posters have upset anyone or if they contravine any
booking protocols. We are very happy to remove any images that are
unauthorised and replace any posters that are already up around Belper and
Duffield. We are very happy to make clear on any further publicity that
B.A.T.S. is not affiliated to or officially supported by the Belper Sports
Club Management Committee.

I was not aware of any terms of hire when I booked the event in July with
the Cricket Club so would be grateful if you could let me have a copy of them as
soon as possible so that I can rectify any problems or sign any forms as
appropriate. I would be grateful if you could specify in writing what you
consider to be misleading so that there will be no delay in making the right

Regarding the lack of contact details I did in fact leave my phone number
with the Club and was not asked to leave a deposit. I am very happy to pop a
cheque into the club any day this week.

Hopefully this response has reassured you enough. As you can appreciate our
plans are at an advanced stage so i would be grateful if you could ring me
as soon as you have read this email. My home number is ******, my
mobile number is ******. I am at work 9-5 but will leave my mobile on
when I can. My work number is ******. If I cannot answer please leave
a message and your number on any of those numbers and I will get back to you
as soon as I can.

speak to you soon,

Oonagh Mckay"

The Chair didn't reply, and Oonagh finally spoke to her late on Thursday 30 August to be told it was a unanimous decision of the Management Committee, and the booking was cancelled, full stop.

She also said that at no further time would B.A.T.S. be allowed to book space inside the pavilion or on any of the surrounding grounds around it.

Oonagh could not find out from the Chair why she waited until over 4 weeks after the posters went up and therefore 2 weeks before the event to tell us that she was cancelling the booking (our email address is on the website which is advertised in the event posters).

There is a fundamental difference becoming apparent between B.A.T.S and Tesco (and those who support/are influenced by them).

We recognise that we are acting on behalf of a majority of Belper people. This is borne out by a number of surveys from different sources. As such, we will always endeavour to be open in our dealings and campaigning. Our opponents, on the other hand, are not above underhand behaviour, and those who have been "bought off" will operate purely out of self-interest.

We have been forced to cancel the event on the 14th, being unable to find a suitable alternative venue at such short notice. This is a shame, as it would have been an enjoyable evening out for Belper families.

It's also a lesson, though, in what extent various organisations will go to stifle debate and local democracy.

The guided walk will go ahead, however: People are invited to meet at the Triangle at 6.30pm on Friday September 14th!

The B.A.T.S information stall will also be out on Strutt Street on the morning of Saturday September 8th.


From the Belper News

A PETITION demanding a ban on heavy goods vehicles driving through Belper has been launched on a government website.

Belper Town Councillor Barry Lewis launched the petition to impose a 7.5 ton weight restriction on the A6 between Allestree and Ambergate following discussions with residents at his North Ward surgery.

The aim is to reduce the number of lorries using the narrow stretch of the A6 through Belper, forcing them to use the A38 instead, and alleviating traffic congestion in the town.

Mr Lewis said: "The A38 was originally mooted by Derbyshire County Council as the 'Belper by-pass', yet continuing to allow lorries to use this very narrow stretch of the A6, particularly where it goes through the town, does nothing to ease Belper's traffic problems. In fact over the years it has gotten worse.

"It is for this reason that the county council is looking with some interest at an unsustainable solution – to get a potential developer to stump up the cash to construct a relief road through Belper Meadows.

"If there was a weight limit imposed on the A6 then lorries would be forced to use the A38, which would radically improve things along that stretch of the A6 in town and elsewhere between Allestree and Ambergate. There would then be no need for a relief road in Belper.

"A relief road, built on the back of any kind of potential retail or other development is totally unsustainable and hopelessly short sighted solution. The county council needs to see the will of the Belper people and impose this weight limit rather than look at supporting any application for a new relief road."

The weight limit would not be enforced against lorries requiring access to Belper for deliveries or to return to one of the heavy goods vehicles depots or yards in the town, only against those using the town as a through route.

One of the first names on the petition was that of Councillor Jim Anderson who said: "The original idea of the A38 was basically to keep the heavy goods vehicles out and it doesn't do that.

"If the lorries have a reason to be in belper, like a delivery, then there's no problem but not all of them do at the moment. We need some sort of relief from the heavy goods vehicles passing through the town.
"I know some of the vehicles I've seen going through are not coming to Belper because I know what factories they're going to.

"It can get very dangerous between the triangle and King Street. In other parts of the borough residents have put pressure on and got a weight limit imposed so I'd say it's well worth signing the petition."
The petition can be found here,
and the deadline for signatures is October 31.





A: The Triangle is replaced by a roundabout (or a large junction-Visitors to the "Community Update" were told both!

B: The new Feeder Road; cutting through the Meadows, demolishing the Cricket Pavillion and passing within a few metres of Meadow Court.

C: A new petrol station.

D: A 600-space car park.

E: Tesco! All 80,000 Square feet of it!

F: Housing, Offices and Retail.

G: More Retail and the new Library (which most people in Belper would like to see at the Market Place...)

H: Car parking.

I: Morrisons' Roundabout.

J/K: Focus and Morrisons. Tesco will be twice the size of Morrisons. Do you seriously think Belper can support that without closures?

L: Possible new Retail unit.

M: All the Sports Clubs to be rearranged (although no-one seemed at all sure how) and moved further down the Flood Plain towards the river...



So. Tesco sent their team of consultants to town, armed with an impressively glossy display, which they then spent two days explaining away as "not finalised - just things we might do..."

Trade was brisk (partly due to our publicising it-apart from a piece in the Belper News a week earlier they seem to have not bothered much about letting people know it was on...), and a fascinating aspect of the exercise was how many people were given different (sometimes contradictory) answers to the same questions!

  • One Visitor, for instance, was confidently told  by Max Curtis (Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager) that Tesco have no details of what they intend to build, and no plan of timescales for the project.
  • This Visitor's partner, by way of contrast, was told by Lea Bard, of Marcel Poulman (Traffic Consultants), that Tesco intend to submit a Planning Application in February 2008.

Many others were told February 2008, also.

Another one, in a report from a Visitor...

  • "When I asked Max Curtis if I could have copy of the reports that have been given to AVBC by Tesco in relation to their proposals for the Meadow’s Edge Site, he denied that any such reports exist. However, his colleague Nigel Cussen of DPP, also representing Tesco at the Update, later freely accepted that four reports have been submitted to AVBC, but refused to give me copies.  He also advised that Tesco does not intend to give the public access to any future reports, studies, plans etc in relation to their proposals, until they actually submit their planning application."

Tesco seem to have been given pause by the whole experience. Evidently expecting an easy ride, they were faced with a number of awkward questions from people who - dare I say? Actually know the area!

Belper Civic Forum were given a spot in the hall by Tesco, and, besides handing out their excellent new leaflet, took an "exit poll" of people attending.

By the Friday evening, the list of those against the Development was that long (makes expansive gesture), while those in favour was only about that long (makes far smaller gesture).

We're looking forward to welcoming Tesco again, when the "Public Consultation" begins!



One of our members has produced the first edition of the B.A.T.S newsletter. If you know anyone without internet access, you could do worse than go to the Download Page and print off a copy to pass on!


Photo: Mike Inman : Derby Evening Telegraph (

This was the scene on the morning of Tuesday 24th at Belper Meadows. Not only are Tesco wanting to build their feeder road here, but they were hoping to hold their "consultation" (now referred to by Tesco as an "exhibition") at the football club (more on this as we hear it) next week...



Due to popular demand, we've added a page for people to volunteer. You'll find it under "Help Us!"

Just fill in the form and we'll be in touch!



The eagleyed among you may notice a banner of Google ads to your right. They're the reason we don't have to pay for this site.

The way the ads get chosen is that a computer in Googleland (look it up on Google Earth) reads everything written here and chooses appropriate adverts based on the keywords it finds.

That's why you may occasionally spot a Tesco ad on an anti-Tesco site!


I'm going to try to keep as up to date as possible on this site, but you'll also find the latest on the fight at the Belper News site which you'll find at

Andy Minion


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