A PETITION against proposals for a new Tesco superstore on the outskirts of Scarborough town centre attracted 800 signatures in four hours.
The Scarborough Town Against Tesco Store group was set up last week by residents Malcolm Short, Joy White and Sharon Witty.
Their first act was to offer people the chance to put their names to the petition in the town centre on Saturday.
“It went really well,” said Mr Short. “We got a terrific response. A lot of the comments we were expecting. People said they shouldn’t be closing Trafalgar Street West and that Tesco is getting too big. The biggest issues were traffic, congestion and the effects on local businesses.”
The group have also set up a meeting with Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill on Friday (details on page 17) and are considering holding a full public meeting.
“At the consultation event in the library we asked Tesco if they would hold an open debate and they declined,” Mr Short added.
“What we are saying is that Dean Road is the wrong place for a supermarket.”
Tesco submitted a planning application for their proposed new store in January.
The period in which the public could make representations to the council about the plans closed yesterday.
As of Friday last week, 72 people had expressed their views to the council on the proposals.
The majority of responses expressed concerns, with 56 objecting or having doubts over the plans. Eleven respondents backed the plans while five were neutral.
A decision on whether the plans get the go-ahead is expected in April.
A spokesperson for Tesco said yesterday that they expected large levels of feedback over plans for such a large development.
“During our public exhibition we were encouraged with the level of support that we received as 70 per cent of feedback forms were in favour of the plans,” the spokesperson said.
“As part of our ongoing discussions with local residents and other stakeholders the proposals for a bright, modern store are evolving so that we can offer the most benefits to the town.
“Many residents we speak to are very keen to see a larger store so they can get more choice and a better offer from our store, without having to travel out of Scarborough.”
Tesco say discussions over the plans will continue and as many suggestions as possible will be incorporated.
The spokesperson added: “Our plans will significantly boost the local economy by bringing 350 new jobs to Scarborough, in addition to the 200 that will be transferred from the existing Westwood store.
“It will also regenerate a key part of the town centre and boost trade in other shops by keeping more people in the town.”