Battle line drawn over Tesco’s Ashtead and Epsom plans

Your Local Guardian Online

7:00am Sunday 6th December 2009

Tesco has a two-handed fight on its hands as opponents gear up to beat off the supermarket’s plans for stores in the Upper High Street, Epsom, and The Street, Ashtead. Residents who are organising vigorous campaigns say the schemes are too big, will damage the locality and cause traffic danger.

They also say public car parks, which are key to both developments, should remain in council control.

Ashtead campaigners under the banner Save (Save Ashtead’s Village Environment) have placed petition forms in more than 30 shops and businesses in Ashtead and set up a website for people to support them – saveashtead.co.uk.

This is the second time Tesco has submitted plans for an Ashtead supermarket to Mole Valley. The first was turned down but Tesco lodged an appeal against the decision, which is on hold.

The new scheme is 30 per cent smaller than the previous one but Save says the scheme is still too big.

Gillian Russell of Save said: “What everyone in Ashtead wants is a wonderful, thriving retail environment. Whoever can provide a store appropriate to the village will be welcome. Unfortunately, Tesco’s current proposal still does not meet that need.”

Both groups of campaigners have the support of MP Chris Grayling who said the proposed stores were too big for the sites…

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