Anti-store march on Town Hall

PROTESTERS against a new superstore in Dean Road marched through Scarborough town centre yesterday afternoon.

Organisers said more than 100 people turned out for the march, which began on Dean Road and progressed to the Town Hall.

A petition against Tesco plans for the site, containing 2,700 signatures, was handed to the council.

Protesters remained outside the Town Hall for around half an hour, under the watchful eye of PCSOs, but there were no signs of any disorder.

Neil Price, a committee member of the Scarborough Town Against Tesco Store group and owner of Kingsway Guest House, said the event had been a success.

“It’s a great day, and we’re really happy with the turnout,” he said.

The march had been timed to coincide with a meeting of Scarborough Council’s planning and development committee.

“The town is speaking up for itself,” Mr Price added. “People are starting to realise that this is a huge superstore and not just a normal supermarket.

“We believe it will decimate small businesses and all the little stores, and another main concern is traffic congestion.

“If this goes ahead, in four or five years people will be saying ‘why did we let that happen?’

“This isn’t only a protest against Tesco, we are not in favour of any supermarket on that site.”

The decision over whether to grant planning permission will be taken in the summer.

While several passing motorists sounded their horns in support of the protest, other passers-by made it known that they approved of plans for a new store.

Those on the march, however, were adamant that the store would be a disaster for Scarborough.

The loss of parking along Columbus Ravine and the closure of Trafalgar Street West were among the most contentious issues.

Columbus Ravine resident Bill Messruther, 71, said: “I’ve was carried up Penny Black Lane 70 years ago. They can’t just flog it to Tesco. It belongs to us.”

Yorkshire Coast College student and window cleaner Matt Witty, 17, said he was worried about the impact a store would have on businesses.

Diana Brooksbank, who runs the Bethany Spring guesthouse in Columbus Ravine, said a loss of car parking spaces could put her out of business.

“I am frightened,” she said. “I’ve been running my business for a long time and the first thing people ask about is parking.”

Tesco have said their plans for a new store will bring 350 new jobs to Scarborough and revitalise the Dean Road area.

A spokesperson for the company said yesterday that they did not wish to comment on the protest march.