Seaton: Supermarket decision

PUBLISHED: 15:25 22 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:14 16 June 2010

May I say a big thank you to everyone who attended the planning meeting regarding Tesco and Sainsbury s - there were some rousing speakers who made excellent points.

May I say a big thank you to everyone who attended the planning meeting regarding Tesco and Sainsbury's - there were some rousing speakers who made excellent points. Unfortunately, for all the talk about democracy being taken to "grass roots", it seems that this is simply claptrap. Had local democracy been alive and kicking in East Devon we would have had the outcome that the people of Seaton wanted and not the one the officers of East Devon preferred - few of them even knowing where Seaton is, let alone what Seaton wants or needs.

And how many of you know that Seaton is actually in Sidmouth - as two of the members of the Development Management Committee told us in their pro-Tesco speeches - or perhaps they just get used to saying the word "Sidmouth" so much it is a habit they can't or don't want to break!

So, now sit back and wait for all those people (particularly tourists) who will flock to Seaton to visit our new Tesco and our visitor centre which, if it is built will be sandwiched between the store and the main road. Watch to see if 75 per cent of the landfill comes in by sea, watch to see how many of the Tesco articulated lorries deliver for the dot.com business and not just local shopping, watch to see if officers enforce the 70-odd conditions they have put on Tesco - all of which are discretionary and which the planning department can choose to enforce or ignore.

And, although officers and district councillors agreed that the store is too big for us at the moment and will have a negative effect on the town, they say it will not be too big for us in future. As it is as it big as the one in Exmouth, apparently our population is expected to increase from 7,000 to 35,000 in the next few years. Now that will be interesting.

Sandra Semple

Writing as an individual


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