Village councillors have vowed to fight plans to build a Tesco in Herne “every step of the way”. They were unanimously defiant this week against speculation of the supermarket giant taking over the empty Upper Red Lion pub.
Tesco is believed to be in talks with brewery Punch Taverns to turn it into an Express store, but the idea was given short shrift at a parish council meeting on Thursday. Cllr John Nicholson said:
“I would fight it every step of the way. I feel very annoyed at the prospect of a supermarket there as there are already plenty in Herne Bay. This is a village and we want to keep it a village.”
Cllr Jennifer Taylor fumed:
“It’s an historic village and that site is right in the centre, next door to an historic church. I’d be the first one down there with my placard if it happened.”
Cllr Ian Sargeant added:
“My grandad had that as a pub and it should remain a pub or a restaurant.”
Tesco has so far remained tight-lipped about the possibility of coming to Herne, but a number of sources claim there has been interest. Cllr John Moore said:
“Somebody who works for one of the utilities says they’ve worked on plans for the possibility of a supermarket on that site. I thought no, this can’t be serious. Obviously there’s loads of speculation, but nobody’s admitting anything.”
It’s thought traffic issues surrounding the site will be a stumbling block to any possible move for Tesco. Cllr Andrew Brealy said:
“The highways issue will knock any application like this on the head immediately.”
The Gazette revealed earlier this month that St Martin’s Church vicar Rev Elaine Richardson had looked at the possibility of turning the pub into a vicarage but rejected it. Cllr Robert Jones said:
“It would have been great if it was used as a vicarage, keeping parking for the village. Let’s put pressure on her [Rev Richardson] boss to reconsider it. It would be the perfect answer.”
HB Gazette 20th Oct 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tescopoly Alliance was launched in June 2005 to highlight and challenge the negative impacts of Tesco’s behaviour along its supply chains both in the UK and internationally, on small businesses, on communities and the environment. The campaign also advocates national and international legislation needed to curb the market power of all the major British supermarkets.