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Tesco development closes Meads Street

July 26, 2008 12:00 AM

PhotographLocal shopkeepers are angry that Meads Street is to be partially closed for up to three weeks due to the ongoing development of the planned Tesco store.

This follows the recent Planning Committee's decision to reject Tesco's application to erect air-conditioners on the roof of their Downs Court development in Meads Street.

Stephen Lloyd, who has been leading the fight to try and stop a Tesco store opening in Meads said: "I was contacted by a couple of the local traders in Meads Street who were very anxious about the possible impact the closing of the road will have on their business. Having visited the site personally, I think they really do have every reason to feel aggrieved. Firstly the signage is not very clear which will have the effect of steering even more people away from the shops than, perhaps, the developer intended. And, secondly, three weeks is a long time for a small business in what is usually a pretty busy shopping street to have such restricted access."

"I shall be writing to both Tesco's and the developer, Westridge, demanding some form of compensation be provided to the small shop owners in Meads Street for loss of trade."

Mr Lenzan of Meads Pharmacy added: "I was very pleased that we managed to stop, at least for the moment, the Tesco planning application and I appreciate the road works would need to be done for the apartments being built at Downs Court. However, I do think it is only fair, as the road may be closed for another 20 days, that Tesco make some sort of gesture of compensation to local traders in Meads Street. This whole saga about opening a Tesco in Meads which, frankly, hardly anyone wants, is causing real anger in our community. I and many others in Meads appreciate Stephens support and efforts over the whole issue. Tesco's should just give up and go away in my view."