Mixed reaction to Tesco store expansion bid

A TOTAL of 236 people attended a consultation day about the extension of the Tesco store in Axminster last Friday.

A TOTAL of 236 people attended a consultation day about the extension of the Tesco store in Axminster last Friday.Supermarket representatives said that, of those who visited the store, 80 per cent were in favour of Tesco's proposal to increase retail space in the store by two thirds from 18,357ft to 30,448ft.Tesco said the extra space would enable them to offer a wider range of products and have greater stock levels.But some residents who spoke to the Herald were strongly opposed - setting up petitions because they claimed it would cause disruption.Tesco spokesman Chris Tear said people were broadly in favour, as they recognised the need for more storage and retail space. But he acknowledged there were concerns about the affects on the town.He said: "When we first opened here it had a beneficial affect on the town. "The town centre is much more vibrant than it was and, of course, we have brought some employment to the town - and we would be bringing more."Staff worker Pippa Ellis added: "It's better to extend the store and keep it in town than to build elsewhere. It needs to be bigger."Keith and Yvonne Barnes, from the Millwey Rise, were in favour of the extension, but questioned if Seaton would then also need a store.Mr Barnes said: "I think they should just get on with building it. We are always having to go to bigger stores - to Yeovil or Chard - to get stuff. "I think it's a good thing, but they should stop building the one in Seaton as it's a waste of money and energy."Mrs Barnes added: "At the moment, they don't have the range here - especially if you're vegetarian. We need a range of dried and organic foods too."But Margaret Cadwgan, from nearby Vale Lane, said she and her neighbours would be petitioning against it.She said: "It's disgusting. It's enough as it is - with lorries coming in and out. "There's going to be more noise. Tesco is just trying to get everywhere and won't be satisfied until they own Britain."Dennis Sheldon, from Castle Hill, said that while he did not think the expansion would personally affect him, he believed it would be problematic for those living nearby.He said: "I saw this place built and the noise was unbelievable. How much more will it affect residents when there are more deliveries?"Valerie Anscombe, from Musbury, was against the expansion on principle.She said: "I don't think we need such a big store at this point in time. People are going to travel and it will become more congested. I have a feeling of mistrust.