‘This will kill our shops and be a traffic nightmare’

The Fox and Hounds in Deanshanger. Photo by Google Maps.
The Fox and Hounds in Deanshanger. Photo by Google Maps.

Villagers have been “lied to and misled” over plans to bring a supermarket to their high street.

Around 250 people attended a meeting in Deanshanger on Tuesday evening over a new Morrisons Local being opened in the village high street.

Locals only discovered that the store was coming after seeing adverts for the new jobs.

Councillor Alan Dott, chairman of Deanshanger Parish Council, said: “We have been lied to and misled.

“This was the Fox & Hounds pub, and the application was to re-open it as a community pub with a restaurant. Instead, one month later, the lease was sold to Morrisons.

“We got in touch with Morrisons. Eventually they wrote back to us, saying they were coming and that they hoped to add to the ‘community feeling’. They have certainly done that.”

At the Tuesday meeting a straw poll was held of residents; 95 per cent were opposed to the supermarket coming.

The parish council is now encouraging residents to write to Morrisons and to local MP Angela Leadsom.

Mr Dott said: “A supermarket will kill other local shops and their jobs. The post office, general stores, grocery store, they will all be crushed by this.

“It will also make traffic a nightmare. We have been told that Morrisons only use 40ft articulated lorries, which would bring the High Street to a standstill. And then you have people parking in the High Street when they come to shop there.

“Finally, this is a conservation area – a big Morrisons ‘M’ is hardly in keeping.”

A Morrisons spokesman claimed the supermarket was not involved with the initial planning application to expand the pub.

They said: “Morrisons has entered into a lease agreement with the landlord to open a new Morrisons M local convenience store at the Fox and Hounds public house in Deanshanger.

“As a tenant, we did not have an involvement with the approved planning application.

“We are known for being a responsible retailer and as such work within set guidance and policy.”