More than 200 Dorset residents have protested against plans to build a new supermarket on the site of a Sherborne hotel.
Last Tuesday protesters marched down Hound Street to a public consultation held by the supermarket giant, Tesco, who plan to build on the site.
Twenty shops throughout the town centre closed for one hour and many boarded up their windows and switched off lights, said Liz Burt from No Thanks Tesco, the leading group against the plan.
“Local businesses fear Tesco’s plans to demolish a busy 60-bed hotel and replace it with an out-of-town superstore which will create a downturn in town centre footfall.
“Sherborne’s 10,000 population is already well served by two town centre supermarkets, convenience stores, independent shops and local markets,” she said.
However, Tesco representative Melanie Chiswell said that lots of residents had to drive to places such as Yeovil to do their shopping.
“Lots of jobs will be created and it is a good chance to boost the local economy,
“We are not competing with local stores, we are competing with other supermarkets in the nearby areas. We are offering more choices for the people of Sherborne to do their shopping,” she said.
Glen Hallett, who has lived in Sherborne for over 20 years, supports the plan to bring Tesco to Sherborne.
“Everyone is talking about choices now and another supermarket will give us that,” he said, “people will still use the shops in the town, older people don’t like big supermarkets and prefer the personal touch of the high street independent shops. But a working family hasn’t got the time to go up and down the town each week going in and out of every other shop.”
“The town has lost 100’s of jobs over the last few years so 200 jobs will be fantastic here, part time will suit families who can drop the children off at school and go to work for 2-4 hours and pick them up after work,” added Mr Hallett.
Image from Loopzilla