Mixed reaction to Tesco's plan for Seaton

PUBLISHED: 13:57 07 October 2008 | UPDATED: 22:25 15 June 2010

TESCO has unveiled its vision for the regeneration of Seaton, attracting a mixed response from the public.

TESCO has unveiled its vision for the regeneration of Seaton, attracting a mixed response from the public.The supermarket giant's plans for the Lyme Bay Holiday Village site and land earmarked for a new food store were unveiled during a series of open days, held at Eyre Court Hotel.Though most visitors were impressed with the presentation of the supermarket's proposed application, many questioned how the problem of flooding and landfill would be tackled.Chairman of Seaton Development Trust James Semple said: "Tesco's plans are very impressive, but it seems to me there are serious objections which are not obvious to the general public."The infill problem is a major thing. Tesco admit themselves they can't see a way around the problem. "They don't know how they are going to lift up the site and develop housing. "These are necessary and the plan has fatal flaws. "It's a case of smoking mirrors, but of the finest quality."In order to avert flooding, developers in the area may need to build on a higher level - which raises questions about how the material will be transported and the resulting landfill. Clive Millman added: "The landfill problem could lead to 40 lorries a day arriving in town. "I just hope they bring it by sea, which will take two months - rather than four years."Linked to the issue of landfill, Chairman of Sustainable Living in Seaton Dave Kelf questioned the environmental impact of Tesco's application and how it could be an eco supermarket.Architect Chris Young, from Inspire Design, said: "There is no answer, but we are looking to find a solution. "We are confident we will find one. "There's a couple of possibilities - we just need to choose one that's best and will be supported by the local community." Tesco development executive Tim Robinson said: "It's an exciting proposition to get involved in the regeneration of Seaton and do something that's going to benefit the town - though it's not without its issues."He explained the development would have to tackle the dangers of flooding and they would need to build the levels high.Aside from the landfill question, he acknowledged different interested parties and felt some residents would need more persuading."Some people are concerned, but any development will have an affect and so people are obviously very cautious and want to make sure it works."As for the Sainsbury's application, I would say you either have a supermarket or regeneration. Sainsbury's can't deliver regeneration."Tesco transport consultant Jonathan Lloyd said it would be inevitable there would be more traffic as a result of the development, but he said they were looking into making the area accessible and linking the whole town.Representatives for Tesco highlighted benefits the supermarket's application would bring to the town and tried to allay residents' fears.John Taynton, of PR Dogs, representatives for Tesco, said the store would in fact encourage shoppers to stay in the town and bring trade to other businesses.He said: "It's understandable there was a nervous reaction. "We are working hard to address some of those concerns. We are here to listen."Tesco spokesperson Melanie Chiswell said of the consultation: "We have mostly been answering questions. "Most people are saying that something needs to happen and we're trying to do as much listening as possible."She said the development would benefit the town through creating jobs, being an eco store, and would support local suppliers.When asked if residents viewed the application more favourably than they had in the past, she said: "People are passionate about it. "If we want to be part of the community, we want to get it right. "People tell us doing nothing isn't an option. "We won't please everybody, but hopefully the exhibition will give us an idea whether we're on the right line or if we have to go back to the drawing board."Some residents echoed the sentiments action was desirable. Nick Patridge, from Harepath Road, said: "I think it's a very good design and will be good for the town. I think Seaton has lived in the dark ages for too long."June Millman said: "I think it looks brilliant. It's very modern, with a pedestrian walkway and will draw people into the town."Councillors are not allowed to give their views and show bias until the application is formally presented at a planning meeting.But councillor Bob Palacio was keen to show his neutrality: "I don't care where I buy my cornflakes.


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