CEN article: News readers vote ‘no’ to plan for Tesco store – 74% against Tesco

NEWS readers are opposing Tesco’s plan to open a new store in Cambridge.

On the same day campaigners handed in a protest petition, the News hosted an online poll. Readers were asked yesterday “Do you think opening a newTesco store on Mill Road is a good idea?” to which 74 per cent replied “no”. A total of about 1,400 votes were cast.

Supporters of the No Mill Road Tesco group met at the Guildhall in Cambridge armed with a petition of more than 2,250 signatures. The petition was handed in to Cambridge City Council’s planning team.

Tesco has submitted three applications to convert the former Wilco building into a store. Due to the postal strikes, the city council has extended the deadline for submitting planning objections. It is now Friday, October 19.

The campaign, which has its own website and Facebook group, has gained momentum in recent weeks with public meetings and a mass busking session helping to generate publicity.

Sonia Cooter, from the No Mill Road Tesco campaign, said: “The size of this petition shows how strongly local people feel about Tesco. People who live, shop and work in this area have built up relationships with local traders and appreciate the diversity of goods and services available.Tesco is the exact opposite of everything we love about this area.

“I hope this petition sends a clear message to decision makers that local people don’t want the supermarket giant here and to Tesco themselves, that they are simply not welcome.”

The issue has also been a hot topic on the News’ letters page.

Mac Dowdy of Downham Road, Ely, said: “The Mill Roads of England and Wales are becoming few and far between. Cambridge must use protective controls to retain this gem, and indeed other similar parts of the city, such as Victoria Road and Milton Road. May we be able to save Mill Road from the direct gross economic intrusion caused by supermarkets. Cambridge must have reached its quota.”

Sue Sutty, of Sedgwick Street, Cambridge, said: “Let’s not spoil the character of this part of the city or hurt the financial viability of its independent traders.”

These views were echoed in a thread on the News messageboards.

Cambridge Evening News, 13th October 2007

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