REPORT: Ottery is 'leaking shoppers' to surrounding towns

PUBLISHED: 19:35 06 December 2008 | UPDATED: 16:44 14 April 2010

OTTERY is leaking ninety per cent of its main/bulk food shoppers to surrounding towns according to a report commissioned by East Devon District Council.

OTTERY is leaking ninety per cent of its main/bulk food shoppers to surrounding towns according to a report commissioned by East Devon District Council.

The town is "very attractive" for top-up shopping trips and equipped to retain shoppers who want more infrequently needed items such as electrical and white goods according to property consultant GVA Grimley, who carried out a Retail Needs Study and Town Centre Health Check on behalf of EDDC last year.

The resulting East Devon Retail Needs & Town Centre Health Check Report published in March identifies Ottery as a small but important market town with a majority of local independent businesses and a "reasonable" range of shops selling essential everyday items.

It continues: "The town is able to retain reasonable levels of comparison goods (more infrequently needed items such as electrical and white goods) shopping trips for a town of its size and is very attractive for top-up food shopping trips."

"However, around 90 per cent of main/bulk food shopping trips leak from the town to surrounding settlements."

"The study highlighted that Ottery is the one of the area centres in East Devon that does not have a large supermarket and this leads to considerable outflow of convenience shopping expenditure."

The findings add fuel to the fiery debate over whether a planned Tesco store is welcome in the town.

Campaign group Factory Future claims the proposed store will increase traffic congestion, stifle local shops and erode residents' choice in the town.

Members carried out a survey during last week's late-night shopping event and said of 138 people who completed asked, 132 were opposed to a supermarket, three were in favour and three were undecided.

Group co-ordinator Phil Foggitt said: "There is a wide range of opinions about supermarkets but most people wanted to see Ottery retain its unique character and felt that Tesco would destroy it.


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