Residents step out in favour of new Portishead Tesco store
By Prue_Reid | Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 16:00
A FACEBOOK page has been set up supporting plans to open a new Tesco Express store in a redundant pub in Portishead.
Local residents Ben Langdale and Felex Werpachowski have set up the Facebook Page - called Stop Delaying Our Tesco Express Portishead – to rally support for plans by the supermarket giant to open a store in the former Royal Oak pub at West Hill.
The store is due to open this Spring, although an exact opening date has yet to be confirmed.
On the Facebook page it says : 'For long enough people have been preventing the 'big four' from setting up in this town. Why?
'Do some residents enjoy paying over the odds for their groceries?
'Whilst a Tesco Express is by no means a full sized store, it goes some way to catering for the needs of the town.
"Why also do these residents wish to prevent others from having the chance to shop there?'
However newsthat a Tesco Express is to open in the pub has angered many local residents who have collected a 2,700 name petition against the move.
Under current planning legislation, the retail giant does not need a change of use permission to use the building as a supermarket and can open it under 'permitted development rights'.
A Portishead Tesco Action Group (PTAG)has been set up to fight the plans.
PTAG has also objected to the store's plans to sell alcohol between 6am and 11pm.
If approved, the Tesco store will be the earliest place in the town where alcohol can be purchased.
Tesco chiefs say the store will attract 8,000 customers a week, is wanted by the local community and will bring footfall and extra business to West Hill.
But campaigners claim the supermarket will attract additional traffic to the site, on a blind bend, and could force other traders in the area out of business
They also fear a late night licence could increase levels of anti-social behaviour in the area.
A delegation from PTAG is planning to attend the meeting to raise concerns about the alcohol licence with councillors when they meet to discuss the application on Monday, February 4.
PTAG is due to meet again at the Royal Inn, Portishead on Thursday, February 7 at 7.30pm.