Row over Tesco bid to demolish empty buildings

PUBLISHED: 09:04 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 23:45 15 June 2010

SEATON Town Council has slammed Tesco for claiming in a press release that the partial demolition of the former Lyme Bay Holiday Village was necessary because of the threat of vandalism and drug taking on the site.

SEATON Town Council has slammed Tesco for claiming in a press release that the partial demolition of the former Lyme Bay Holiday Village was necessary because of the threat of vandalism and drug taking on the site.Tesco brought forward plans to remove disused buildings following problems on another site in the resort.It was also feared that travellers could move onto the land.The council agreed at a meeting last week to instruct town clerk David Mears to write to the supermarket to point out that such reports had not been received by the council or police.Mayor Sandra Semple said: "I just find her [Tesco corporate affairs manager Melanie Chiswell] press release, which makes Seaton out to be an area of criminality, totally unacceptable."She claimed the demolition was due to business rates and that Tesco should be upfront about it.She said: "I propose this council write to Ms Chiswell and says, in future, we would like to see press releases so that we can correct statements that are economical with the truth." The council voted in favour of Councillor Semple's proposal.Ms Chiswell defended her press release, but stressed she had been referring to a neighbouring site.She said: "My press release was true and the comments by the town council are ridiculous. I referred to the fact of evidence of drug use on the site neighbouring Lyme Bay."It was never my intention to dramatise and make out Seaton was an area of criminality."Ms Chiswell said the police had advised Tesco to demolish the building because young people could attempt to break in.Tesco does not have to consult with Seaton Town council over its press releases.

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