Packed meeting vows to fight Tesco

PUBLISHED: 16:36 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:15 06 May 2010

THERE was standing room only at a public meeting held in St Albans on Tuesday evening to rally support for the Stop Tesco campaign. The supermarket chain has now submitted and has had registered its application for a large new store on the former Evershed

THERE was standing room only at a public meeting held in St Albans on Tuesday evening to rally support for the Stop Tesco campaign.

The supermarket chain has now submitted and has had registered its application for a large new store on the former Evershed's site in London Road, St Albans, together with seven additional shops on London Road, 477 parking spaces and the refurbishment of a number of boarded-up properties along the same road.

Stop Tesco, which was formed to fight the plans, forecasts that tailbacks in London Road that already block the end of Alma Road will worsen significantly if the store is built, causing gridlock in the area.

Arguing that Tesco has significantly underestimated the problem of pollution, Stop Tesco member Ian Langford produced figures at the meeting to show that the planned store would markedly increase the environmental degradation.

He argued that Tesco's computer modelling of nitrogen dioxide levels in 2006 underestimated the level measured by the district council by 18 per cent.

Sandy Walkington, LibDem prospective Parliamentary candidate for St Albans, welcomed the all-party support for the campaign. He stressed that it was crucial to their success that communities were united in their opposition.

He also warned that while campaigners successfully halted Tesco's proposals for a giant store in Surrey, the site there remained in limbo while Tesco "consulted" on what to do next and lurked under the waterline "like a great white shark".

Simon Grover of the Green Party spoke of the impact of the planned superstore on local shops and the vitality of the city centre.

And Labour Parliamentary hopeful Cllr Roma Mills urged all present to write to Herts County Council as well as the district council to ensure vigorous objections to the development on traffic grounds.

Mike Dilke of Stop Tesco ended the meeting with a call to arms and presented the politicians present with a petition of more than 5,800 names objecting to the store.

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