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Herne Villagers won, Tesco nil

Tesco scraps plans for Express store in Herne

Tesco has dramatically pulled out of plans to open an Express store in Herne, the Kentish Gazette can reveal. The supermarket giant today admitted it was not pushing forward with the controversial scheme, blaming highways issues in the village.

The news marks the end of a fierce five-month campaign waged by villagers against the company, which wanted to open in the empty Upper Red Lion pub. More than 700 marched in protest at the plans on Sunday, sending out a clear message that a new store was not wanted. It followed two public meetings held at the village church which were attended by more than 500 people.

Tesco spokesman Carol Leslie said:

“We always try and work positively with local councils and local people before we submit any applications. Taking on board all the feedback through our consultation and discussions, we have decided that we will not be pursuing a store at this particular site. Our Express stores are extremely busy and popular and we really wanted to invest in the village but it was clear there were lots of highway constraints for us in Herne.”

Frank Holden, chairman of Herne Against Tesco, was thrilled with the news. He said:

“It’s extremely good news. The biggest issue we always had was the health and safety dangers of putting a supermarket on that site. We’re very pleased with the outcome and it moves us onto stage two, which is about pushing forward and looking at how we could become involved in the future use of the Upper Red Lion.”

Tesco revealed it was pulling out on the same day permission was granted for a new Express store in Sea Street, Herne Bay.

thisiskent 9th March 2012 – by Joe Walker

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  1. Excellent news