Food stores debate goes on

PUBLISHED: 12:37 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 23:55 15 June 2010

In response to the Tesco s advertisement in your paper last week, I would just like to clarify a few points.

In response to the Tesco's advertisement in your paper last week, I would just like to clarify a few points.

Regeneration can only happen if large numbers of people come to Seaton and spend money here. With the destruction of the Lyme Bay holiday village, day visitors are, for the moment, the only answer.

Tesco is not building the Jurassic Coast visitor centre. Nor is it building on land dedicated to new and affordable homes. It may well have dedicated land for a new hotel or holiday park but it will not be donating the land nor funding what is built on it.

The land which they state is set aside for a nature reserve on Seaton Marshes does not belong to Tesco. Harbour Road, both during and after construction, will be a nightmare, and all the occupiers of the flats and houses there will have to camp out to access or leave their homes.

The children's nursery will have to move as soon as infill starts, for safety reasons. Is Tesco going to relocate it? Or will it join the list of facilities lost to the town on that site?

But these points pale into insignificance next to the following comments. That the store "will attract people from the surrounding area". With 14 Tesco stores in the surrounding area, who exactly, and why would they drive past their local Tesco to get to ours?

Is Tesco, perhaps, considering closing down some of the other local stores, to make this one more attractive to local shoppers?

It states that "it is the only plan that guarantees the development of derelict land" Well, first I would like to point out that the only things Tesco is building is the store and petrol station, the rest of the plan is dependent on developers wanting to buy the rest of the land and build on it. Secondly, the rest of the site wouldn't be be derelict if Tesco hadn't bought the holiday village and closed it down.

They go on to say that "there are no guarantees that the supermarket applying to develop a store on council-owned land nearby will be successful in acquiring that land, as the council will be obliged to offer the land for sale to all retailers". In this, it is correct.

Which is why, at the planning meeting with East Devon District Council, scheduled to be held at Seaton Town hall on Tuesday, September 15, that we, the people of Seaton and those in the wider area of East Devon, are there to make sure our views are taken into account by our elected representatives. This is a pivotal time in the history of our town, as well as the wider Axe Valley area. To that end, should they so wish, we will help people prepare statements to be read out to the planning committee. Either leave a message on (01297) 24217 or speak to me on 07853 277801.

Lizzie Bewsher

Stand up 4 Seaton


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