Town's fears over supermarket bid

A BUSTLING seaside resort could become a “ghost town” if another large supermarket is given the green light, it has been claimed. Supermarket giant Asda is rumoured to be looking to set up shop on the outskirts of Clacton, news which has been greeted with anger from smaller, independent stores.

A BUSTLING seaside resort could become a “ghost town” if another large supermarket is given the green light, it has been claimed.

Supermarket giant Asda is rumoured to be looking to set up shop on the outskirts of Clacton, news which has been greeted with anger from smaller, independent stores.

Market leader Tesco has already added Clacton to its ever-growing list of places where it has an edge-of-town operation after it opened at the Brook Retail Park earlier this year.

Opinions are split on what Asda's arrival would mean for Clacton, although another superstore could lead to hundreds of new jobs in an area crying out for more opportunities.


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But Roy Smith, a Tendring district councillor said out-of-town shopping was already undermining the community spirit of Clacton.

He has called for anyone opposed to the possible development to write to him with any concerns.

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He said: “If Asda comes it would kill the town off - we want it like a hole in the head and I don't think it will really create a great deal of new jobs, just take them away.

“It will end up like a ghost town and this is the capital town of Tendring and it is already showing signs of the problem.”

Mr Smith also thinks the number of visitors would drop if the town was full of empty shops.

And on Saturday, shopkeepers in Clacton said they felt things could only continue to get worse.

Ron Edwards, manager of The Meat Inn said he would actually be happier if the supermarket was in town because he believed customers would buy from him as well as getting other items at the bigger stores.

“The bigger stores are just taking the people out of the town, if they were next door I would wipe the floor with them as a trader.

“But with Tesco being out of town, sometimes the town is dead - Clacton has a generation of old people as well as from Jaywick and the surrounding villages who come in on buses but that will all disappear.”

Pierre Oxley, chairman of Clacton chamber of trade and tourism, said he did not think Asda would be given planning permission.

“There is no chance of them coming - they would not get planning permission as there is no real need for it here but I welcome any businesses showing an interest in Clacton.”

He added he believed Asda could exist alongside the smaller town retailers so long as the cross-over of items being sold was not too great, saying if it was to sell just food it would be okay.

No-one from Asda was available for comment last night.

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