Tesco development would ‘destroy Ashtead’s village spirit’, planning inspector hears

Epsom Guardian

3:21pm Tuesday 27th July 2010
By Paul Teed

Campaigners fighting a proposed Tesco in Ashtead have told a planning inspector the supermarket would irreversibly destroy the village’s community spirit and culture.

Gillian Russell, founder of Save Ashtead Village Environment (Save), said the group feared the new store, on the former Esso site, in The Street, would turn Ashtead into a “clone town”.

More than 1,230 villagers – 23 per cent of households – have written letters or emails opposing the plans, and raised thousands of pounds towards Save’s campaign, a public inquiry heard.

Miss Russell said: “These developments would suck the life out of Ashtead where our independent retailers are an essential part of our life blood…