Confirmed: Kro 2 WILL be another Tesco

Article published: Monday, June 18th 2012

Rumours of plans to turn Oxford Road’s Kro 2 restaurant into a Tesco have been confirmed with the publishing of a licensing application on Manchester City Council’s website.

Demonstrators occupied the site in March in protest against the "corporate takeover" of Manchester

Previous rumours that the site was to be converted to a Tesco sparked a sit-in and demonstration on 19 March outside the disused Oxford Road restaurant in protest against the “corporate takeover” of the city centre by major developers.

Six people who occupied the site were arrested by Greater Manchester Police on “suspicion of criminal damage”, and were later released without charge.

A number of supermarkets already exist along  Oxford Road, including another Tesco on the site of the former nightclub Jilly’s Rockworld, and independent retailers have voiced concern over the growing impact of corporate chains in the area.

Ursula Gothard, a member the 8th day co-operatively-run ethical food shop and cafe on Oxford Road, told Mule her letter of objection had garnered 480 signatures before she handed it into the council’s offices.

Gothard argued the supermarket development would have effect of both “squeezing independent companies” and homogenising the high street for shoppers.

“With the supermarkets’ massive buying power smaller business can’t compete and won’t survive, and this minimises people’s choice. There’s no point having Mary Portas and ‘save the high street’ if these corporations are allowed to build directly next to the smaller establishments”, she said.

There is also concern that with a 6:00am – 23:00pm alcohol license, the Tesco store would cause alcohol-related problems in the area.

As part of the campaign, Gothard has spoken to both Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University representatives, who agree that a further establishment with this type of licensing could pose major problems for Oxford Road. She explained they too have expressed concerns to the council, highlighting late alcohol licensing as a main objection to the build.

“There is already a serious ongoing problem with anti-social behaviour, along the Oxford Road Corridor. A further establishment with this type of licensing will only amplify this”, said Gothard.

The application is the latest of a series of supermarkets which are planned to go ahead in the area. The council and property firm Ask Developments, who are landlords for the Oxford Road site, are already in talks for a further 70,000 square ft supermarket as part their investment plans for the First Street area to the west of Oxford Road.

Under the proposals the Corner House cinema and the Library Theatre will also both be relocated to First Street, and away from Oxford Road.

Manchester City Council and Ask Developments declined to comment.

Jenny Forrest

Earlier coverage: Solidarity demo held as six Kro 2 occupiers arrested; and Reclaiming whose city?

More: Council, Local economy, Manchester, News


  1. The story says that we declined to comment. This isn’t something Manchester City Council does, unless our hands are tied legally or it is something that really has nothing to do with us.

    We don’t, however, have any record of you asking a question, which does make it rather difficult for us to comment.

    In general terms, when granting licenses the councillors on the committee are carrying out (to use a rather overused phrase) a quasi-judicial function and their decisions have abide by the Licensing Act 2003. Representations can be made by either one of the seven “responsible authorities” (for eg the police and fire services) or by “interested parties”. Interested parties are local residents or residents’ associations, local businesses and trade groups and anyone else who may be affected by the proposed license.

    There’s more information on our website at

    For a site like this, a supermarket wouldn’t require planning permission as it already has what’s called “A3” retail classification and planning permission isn’t required to for a change of use from a bar to a shop.

    Smyth Harper
    Head of News
    Manchester City Council

    Comment by Smyth Harper on June 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm
  2. ‘Ursula Gothard, a member the 8th day co-operatively-run ethical food shop and cafe on Oxford Road’

    A member?

    Does that mean part owner?

    Does she live off the profits from selling this ‘ethical’ food?

    Comment by pete on June 20, 2012 at 11:53 am
  3. Surely it is better to ‘live off’ the profits of selling food that is sourced fairly, sustainably and ethically, than to profit from selling products that are produced in a manner which is either cruel to an animal, or bought from a farmer at a price so low he cannot make a living from it?

    Comment by Jenny on June 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm
  4. Why has Manchester City Council decided that a Tesco Metro has A3 classification. On looking at

    Retail establishments are classed as A1 not A3, however each planning authority can make its own decisions. Another stunning example of Manchester City Council bending the rules for the likes of Tesco!

    Change of Use
    Planning Permission
    Use Classes
    The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) puts uses of land and buildings into various categories known as ‘Use Classes’.

    The following list gives an indication of the types of use which may fall within each use class. Please note that this is a guide only and it’s for local planning authorities to determine, in the first instance, depending on the individual circumstances of each case, which use class a particular use falls into.

    A1 Shops – Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices (but not sorting offices), pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes.

    A3 Restaurants and cafés – For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises – restaurants, snack bars and cafes.

    Retail establishments are classed as A1 not A3, however each planning authority can make its own decisions. Another stunning example of Manchester City Council bending the rules for the likes of Tesco! This is something that needs looking into as it smacks of preferential treatment for big corporations.

    Comment by Jen on June 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm
  5. Jen – you are correct that KRO2 would have been classed as A3. However, it is permissible to change a building from A3 to A1 or A2 *without* planning permission – see this document for the permitted changes:

    Comment by CG on July 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm
  6. Jen – in fact, if you look further down the page you posted, the same changes of use are listed there.

    Furthermore councils can’t refuse planning consent just because it’s Tesco, even if they have another 10 shops within walking distance of the site! There are going to be more Tesco stores than bus stops at this rate…

    Comment by CG on July 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm

The comments are closed.