Tesco has vowed to invest significantly in improving local sporting facilities across the country in areas where its new store developments eat into playing fields.
Tesco property spokesman Andrew Slight said although it always tried to avoid such sites, where it did choose them in the future it would endeavour to provide better quality facilities than the existing ones.
The move follows a protest in Birmingham, led by Labour MP Liam Byrne, to prevent the retailer from ripping up playing areas for a store in Hodge Hill.
A petition has been signed by thousands of residents and handed to the council’s planning department. The next stage will be to hold demonstrations on the fields with local football teams.
Plans for the 55,000 sq ft supermarket have infuriated locals for the past year, but came to a head in recent weeks when Tesco submitted a planning application for the site.
Byrne also polled 2,000 households in Hodge Hill, with 80% saying they opposed Tesco’s plans. “It’s bad for the kids who want to play football; it’s bad for the shopkeeper who will be driven out of business; and it’s bad for the area as shops will be left empty and open to vandalism, while more cars clog up already overcrowded roads.”
However, Slight said Tesco had been consulting with the local authority, residents’ groups and other stakeholders to ensure “the best possible outcome”.
“As a result, we have delivered new proposals which would bring a great new supermarket and improved sports facilities.”
Tesco.com has ventured to the great outdoors to extend its non-food offer on the Extra site. It added a sports, camping and leisure range last week, and is now selling tents from £29.99 and adult bikes from £79.99. Luggage sets, picnic tables, exercise bikes and trampolines are also part of the range, all with free delivery.

Nearly a third of police forces in England and Wales have issued fewer than 10 on-the- spot fines for shoplifting in the first two months since the new legislation came into force. New figures from the Home Office also show that six of the 43 constabularies had issued 47.2% of all on-the-spot fines from November to December 2004.

Like-for-like sales at Boots fell by 0.8% in the first quarter in the face of stiff competition. Boss Richard Baker said there was nothing to suggest the trading climate would improve in the coming months. Boots said that cosmetics, OTC medicines and toiletries had performed well, but sales of lifestyle products were weak.

Arla Foods is facing such high demand for Cravendale milk that it has suspended production of the skimmed variant of the product.
The dairy company said that skimmed Cravendale was unlikely to be available again until the new year, in order to help hard-pressed factories fulfill orders for the more popular whole and semi-skimmed variants.

Midlands Co-op has rolled out a pilot scheme selling sealed packs of euros. Customers can buy packs of 50 or 100 euros at stores in Bakewell, North Wingfield and Oundle. The initiative will now be rolled out to 14 additional stores in the society’s estate.
Tesco ventures out
few fines issued
Boots sales down
High milk demand