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February 07

SLDC have extended the deadline for objecting to the Old Brewery superstore until 31st March 2013. Please write! We know you’re all weary of letters or emails of objection – but this is our last chance to see off a superstore, and we must win! See this page for how to do it.

November 23


SLDC have extended the deadline for commenting on the Sainsbury’s application. You can now make your views known to them by SUNDAY 2nd DECEMBER!

If you’ve not written yet – do it now! Even a postcard will do. You don’t have to write a long letter – though if you want to you can click here for a sample letter and more arguments.

All you have to do is make it plain that you object to the store. Even a few lines on notepaper will do! Send your objections to:

Fiona Clark
South Lakeland District Council
South Lakeland House
Lowther Street
Cumbria LA9 4DL

Make sure it gets there by the 2nd! If you want some more info on what to say, click on the link below.

October 14

Sainsbury’s have submitted their planning application. Click here to read more and click here to find out how to object. KUS is objecting to SLDC about the timescale for responses: Sainsbury’s have been preparing their plans for eighteen months, yet the people of Ulverston get just four weeks to respond. This Evening Mail article explains more. Please get writing!

May 23

As we reported in March, and as the Evening Mail revealed yesterday, Sainsbury wants to build a superstore on a greenfield site at the top of Lightburn Road. This would be an out-of-town superstore: a real disaster for the town. It would suck business from the town centre, which needs rejuvenation not corporate competition, and it would encourage traffic congestion at the edge of town. As our dossier demonstrates, out-of-town superstores like this are always very bad news for small market towns.

Sainsbury are putting their plans on show this weekend. We are strongly encouraging everyone in the town, whatever their views on the development, to go along and see the plans and talk to the Sainsbury’s people about your views. Plans will be displayed on Friday 25th of May at the Coronation Hall between 10am and 6pm, and at Lanternhouse on Saturday 26th May from 10am and 3pm.

If this is allowed to go ahead it will radically change the face of the town, and it is important that we all engage at this stage. We will be fighting this planning application, and we think we have a good chance of winning, but it is vital that as many people as possible get involved in the discussion as it begins.

March 01

A recent article in the Northwest Evening Mail confirms that Sainsbury’s has designs on Ulverston. The article – which can be read here – explains that Sainsbury’s is interested in an area of land off Lightburn Road, outside the town.

An out-of-town store would be a disaster for Ulverston – and, despite what Robinsons have suggested, it would be no guarantee that we would not also get a supermarket on the Old Brewery site. Either development would be bad for the town – both could be its death knell. The good news is that opposition to Sainsbury’s plans is almost universal. We will keep you informed as news comes in.

December 20

Following protests from Keep Ulverston Special, Ulverston town council, over 2000 local residents, and local and national organisations including English Heritage, Robinsons have formally withdrawn their planning application for a superstore on the Old Brewery site. After months of insisting that their plans would be good for Ulverston, Robinsons have been forced to publicly admit that they would have been anything but.

BUT – sadly, it seems likely that, rather than dropping the whole supermarket idea, the company is simply going to submit a revised plan for a superstore, which they hope will be less objectionable. We are expecting to hear more about their plans early in 2012. When we do,we will update this website immediately.

September 12

Keep Ulverston Special today released a comprehensive 40-page dossier on the Robinsons development, which explains in detail why the case for a new supermarket is flawed and should be thrown out. Our dossier, which is the result of months of detailed research and consultation with experts, examines all the developers claims under a microscope, and demonstrates that many of them are inadequate, inaccurate or just plain wrong. You can read the full dossier, and make up your own mind, by clicking here.

August 27

SLDC have confirmed that the consultation deadline for the Robinsons plans has been extended until 30th September. This means that if you haven’t yet written to object to the plans, or signed our petition, you can still do so. Over 200 people have so far written to the Council about this highly controversial proposal, and many hundreds more have signed our petition. Pressure is building. Please add your name if you haven’t already – and many thanks if you are one of those who has.

August 19

In a sign that the developer is increasingly rattled, William Robinson has publicly attacked Ulverston Town Council for voting against his company’s shoddy, profiteering supermarket proposal. In a bizarre attack, reported in the North West Evening Mail, Robinson – who hails from Stockport – claims that ‘true Ulverstonians’ support his superstore plan, and demands ‘hard facts rather than fiction’. Keep Ulverston Special notes in response that when hard facts were presented to Robinson and his (non-Ulverstonian) development team at last month’s public meeting, they had a great deal of difficulty responding to them …

August 10

Ulverston Town Council has formally voted against the Robinsons supermarket plans! This is a major step forward for our campaign, and we applaud the far-sightedness of the council in making this decision. After listening to arguments from all sides, the council concluded that the development would be bad for the town. This decision will now be considered by the SLDC planning committee as part of their deliberations. More details can be found in this Evening Mail story.

August 09

Keep Ulverston Special has unveiled a campaign song, written by town councillor Colin Williams. The song, which can be heard here, will be making its appearance at live events in the town over the next few weeks and months. And look out for some media appearances too …

July 31

Keep Ulverston Special has announced a public competition to design a better use for the old brewery site. The competition is open to adults and children, and will run until the end of August, when the winning entries will be presented to the District Council and the developers. At the same time, we are launching a public survey to try and gain more insight into the shopping habits of Ulverstonians. Please take the time o complete an entry if you can.

July 27

The UK’s leading business organisation, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), has backed our campaign against a new superstore on the former brewery site. Speaking to the North West Evening Mail, Gary Lovatt, FSB chairman for the Lancashire and Cumbria region, said ‘Ulverston has a large number of quality independent businesses which set it apart from many clone towns we see around the rest of the UK. These businesses will undoubtedly struggle if a superstore is developed in the vicinity … We can find no examples from across our UK-wide network of where superstore developments of this kind have had any impact other than to force local small businesses in competing markets to close, and in leading to money leaking out of the area and back to superstore shareholders.’ The FSB says it is urging ‘businesses, residents and the council to value their town centre and not sell out to developments of this kind.’

July 20

At a packed public meeting in Ulverston Coronation Hall tonight, the developer, architect and brewery were put on the back foot about their proposed development. Opinion in the room was overwhelmingly against the development, and a well-informed audience exposed gaping holes in the developer’s arguments. It was clear that the case in favour of the store – that it would not take business from the town; that it would help local traders; that there was ‘demand’ from the town – was based on flawed assumptions and dubious evidence. There was clearly a strong desire that the brewery site be put to a use more fitting for Ulverston and positive for the town: affordable housing and/or an arts and heritage initiative seemed popular suggestions. It’s now important that we build on this momentum by making our objections clear to the District Council

July 18

The chief executive of Furness Enterprise, Harry Knowles, is calling for an independent report into the likely impact of the Robinson’s proposal on Ulverston. The North West Evening Mail today reports Knowles as saying ‘I have a huge concern, as always, that a major supermarket development would have a significant negative impact on the independent retailers in the town centre and therefore be damaging to the vitality and economic viability of Ulverston town centre.’

July 17

The council has called an open public meeting about the proposed brewery development in response to pressure from Keep Ulverston Special. It will be held on the evening of Thursday 21st July, at 7pm, in the Coronation Hall, Ulverston. The developer and the brewery will present their plans, and the public will then have the chance to question them. If you are concerned about this development, please be there – armed with at least one searching question!

July 14

A recent survey by Keep Ulverston Special shows that 56% of local independent retailers are likely to be directly threatened by the planned supermarket development. Out of our magnificent total of 81 independent shops, only 26 are likely to remain unaffected by direct competition from a big chain superstore at the heart of the town.

July 09

Local media coverage of our campaign is growing. We have featured in the Westmorland Gazette and in the North West Evening Mail, and The Ian Timms show on BBC Radio Cumbria ran a feature on our campaign in early July. There will be more to come, and we will post details here when it happens.