Decision on Tesco still splitting town

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RESIDENTS in Newport Pagnell are still divided over the decision to grant planning permission for a new Tesco store in the town.

The decision was made at a special council development control committee meeting on Wednesday, March 9, and has left some scratching their heads in disbelief, and others punching the air in delight.

Newport Pagnell Town Council have heavily opposed the plans from the outset and at the meeting mayors past and present spoke out against the plans.

Alderman Euan Henderson said the store should have been located in the High Street, not outside where it will draw business away.

Current mayor of Newport Pagnell, Councillor Ian Carman, also spoke of his opposition, saying that the town council objected to the plans on a number of policy grounds and that the proposed plans were not that different from the ones that were rejected in 2009.

One resident, who lives in Lamb Close, said: “I consider this scheme an accident waiting to happen. And when things go wrong who is going to take responsibility and be accountable? There are sufficient Tesco stores in Milton Keynes already.”

John and Daphne Fowler have been campaigning for the new store, to be built on the former site of the Aston Martin factory, since the first planning application was tabled two years ago.

Daphne, who lives close to where the new development will be, on the Rivers estate, said: “As pensioners, my husband John and I are delighted with the decision after two years of campaign. It will mean easier and more economic shopping for us.

“Larger, weekly shopping will be a boon to drive yards, instead of miles, thus saving our budget, and the carbon footprint, by using less fuel. Also no supermarket delivery costs which we frequently use.

“We do understand the concerns of the protestors, but have confidence that issues will be sorted appropriately. Having witnessed a similar bitter and prolonged ‘fight’ against Tesco`s in Ilminster, Somerset, the traditional home town of our family, it is now admitted that Tesco`s supermarket has brought unexpected prosperity to the town. Only two shops closed, but they were going anyway.”