Campaigning group raises funds to fight Tesco appeal

Epsom Guardian

6:06pm Monday 17th May 2010
By Thais Portilho-Shrimpton

A group of campaigners has raised the funds needed to fight two planning appeals by giant retailer Tesco.

Save Ashtead Village Environment (Save) and Ashtead Residents’ Association (ARA) have raised over £25,000 to employ a specialist planning advisor and a barrister to “represent the village’s interests” at the public inquiry into Tesco’s appeals.

Paul Le Versha, chairman of ARA, said: “I am quite overwhelmed by the speed and generosity of the response we have received. We are enormously grateful for the many generous donations and supportive comments.

“These proposals raise a number of complex issues which deserve to be examined in a considered, balanced and informed way. I am increasingly confident that a very strong case can be made to the planning inspector to uphold the decisions made by Mole Valley District Council to refuse these applications.

“The hard work now begins, as the detailed case is prepared for the hearing. Geoff Douglass is already hard at work on this and he is being supported by a number of volunteers with skills in key areas.”

Tesco has submitted two plans for an Ashtead supermarket to Mole Valley. The first was turned down but Tesco lodged an appeal against the decision. The second application was 24 per cent smaller than the previous one but was also turned down.

Both appeals are set to be considered at the public inquiry…