Ottery group's 'ghost town' fears over Tesco

PUBLISHED: 17:54 27 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 18 June 2010

UP to half of Ottery s town-centre shops could close if Tesco gets the green-light for a factory site store, campaigners have warned.

UP to half of Ottery's town-centre shops could close if Tesco gets the green-light for a factory site store, campaigners have warned.

Sutainable Ottery (SO) members said research commissioned by the group has revealed the claim, and more than 60 full and part-time jobs would be lost as a result.

Group members fear the supermarket giant's presence will "destroy" Ottery's town-centre trade and render the area a "ghost town".

Research by the group claims that up to twelve shops could close within a year of Tesco opening, meaning between 20 and 50 per cent of traders will be put out of business, and up to 33 full-time, and 31 part-time jobs will be lost.

"We want to see the old factory site developed as much as anyone else, but we want it developed in a way that will benefit the town centre and our community, not destroy it," said SO member Helen Collinson.

"Ask our visitors what they like about Ottery, and the vast majority will tell you it's our variety of independent shops and our unique town centre."

"These are the very features which could be destroyed if the planning application for a Tesco store is approved."

SO has questioned whether the store will bring trade into the town from surrounding areas and campaigners have set about advising residents how they can object to the plans, before East Devon District Council's deadline on November 6.

A Tesco spokesperson told the Herald last year the proposed store would create around 100 jobs in the town.


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