Traders rally against Tesco plans

A GROUP of independent traders who are opposing plans for a Tesco Express to be opened near their shops have launched a new website.The “TESCNO” website calls for changes to the design of the new outlet, in the former MVC premises in Crouch Street, Colchester.

By Roddy Ashworth

A GROUP of independent traders who are opposing plans for a Tesco Express to be opened near their shops have launched a new website.

The “TESCNO” website calls for changes to the design of the new outlet, in the former MVC premises in Crouch Street, Colchester.

Although against the prospect of the retail giant moving into the area, local delicatessen director Phil Gunton said there was no way to block it, as Tesco did not need to apply to change the use of the premises.

But he added that he felt the proposed design for the outside of the store - which was sent to Colchester Borough Council for consideration earlier this month - needed “calming down.”

Mr Gunton, whose shop H Gunton Ltd is also on Crouch Street, said: “We are the last street in Colchester that is made up of traditional independent traders.

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“It is all old buildings. Now we're going to have 200 square metres of Tesco livery. We can't stop the shop being there, but we have got to make it look more reasonable.”

He added that local traders also wanted the council to install CCTV in the area because Tesco was planning to install a cash machine outside their new shop.

And he claimed that local feeling had been strongly against the proposed design.

“The website has only been up for two days and it has already had 150 hits, with no advertising,” he said.

“We have put response forms in local shops. In one day, in one shop, there were 40 or 50 people against it.

“Support is ramping up every day, but we have got just three weeks to make ourselves heard.

“This is a really quaint old street. Some people have already said they will boycott all Tesco stores because of this.”

Yesterday Tesco spokeswoman Carol Leslie said the store, which is due to open in May, would create around 25 jobs for local people.

She added that Tesco Express was a small neighbourhood convenience food store focussing on fresh food.

“The application for the signage is down to the council. It is our normal branding, but it is up to the council to determine the necessary permission,” she said.

“We look forward to serving local people and becoming part of the community.

“We have found that our Express stores encourage people to shop locally and can have a positive knock-on effect for other retailers while attracting new businesses to the area.”

INTERNET LINKS : www.tescno.co.uk www.tesco.com

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