Fierce public opposition to Tesco's plans for a store in Herne can be ignored, according to supermarket giant spokeswoman Carol Leslie, but villagers may get some compensation in the form of a community centre above the shop.
Mrs Leslie was speaking after what she described as a "very productive" meeting with ward, county and parish councillors about the planned Tesco Express in the empty Upper Red Lion pub. The corporate affairs officer said:
"It was a good meeting. We listened to their concerns – and they are obviously passionate about the village – but we still think this is a good site. One possibility is to make the first floor of the pub a community centre and we are looking at all the options. We've got Tesco Express stores in villages like Herne up-and-down the country. And yes sometimes there is opposition, but you can't please everyone."
She said some residents were in favour of the site, and concerns about highways issues would be looked at by council officials. Parish councillors voted unanimously to oppose the application and refuse any offers of financial support from Tesco around the village.
Canterbury City Council councillor Peter Vickery-Jones, who holds the responsibility for property and transport on the council's executive, said:
"I did my best to persuade them that this is not an appropriate spot, but they are not convinced and say they have faced opposition, but over time it dries up and people start using the stores. Unfortunately I don't have any lawful way of stopping them. It's clear this is something that is strongly opposed in Herne."
thisiskent 20th Jan 2012
The Tescopoly Alliance was launched in June 2005 to highlight and challenge the negative impacts of Tesco's behaviour along its supply chains both in the UK and internationally, on small businesses, on communities and the environment. The campaign also advocates national and international legislation needed to curb the market power of all the major British supermarkets.
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