Writing on the wall for Tesco protest

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MORE than 1,200 signatures have been gathered on a ‘pledge wall’ in Boston Spa objecting to proposals for a Tesco supermarket to be opened in the village.

The Wetherby News revealed earlier this year plans to build a convenience store at the grade 11 listed Crown Hotel on the High Street.

Now the Boston Spa Say No to Tesco Action group has come up with an unusual idea to get their campaign noticed, by creating a ‘pledge wall.’

More than 1,200 people have signed the wall by placing post it notes with messages on them at the empty shop unit on Boston Spa’s High Street.

The pledge states that objectors would not shop at the proposed store in Boston Spa if plans were given the go-ahead.

Spokesman for the action group, Steve Morritt, told the News: “We wanted to create something that was eye-catching and a focal point for the campaign.”

“And we wanted to create something that was a bit different.”

Mr Morritt said the campaign will be stepped up a gear this week with a leaflet drop to every household in Boston Spa about the proposals.

The action group - made up of parish councillors, local business people and residents - says the plans for a supermarket will cut trade to other shops, create more traffic and have a detrimental effect on house prices.

He said: “I am really concerned that by bringing a Tesco into this area, this will create a downward spiral, making it a less attractive place to live, and bringing less people into the area.”

Mr Morritt said he also felt Tesco were not listening to people’s views since the campaign had been started.

He said; “It is very frustrating, we feel that despite our arguments, Tesco are not listening to us- but there is so much more we can do.”

Boston Spa Parish Council has also formally objected to the proposals, he added.

Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke has also thrown his weight behind the campaign, signing the pledge wall last month.

He told the Wetherby News that a Tesco store would have a ‘detrimental’ effect on the local community in Boston Spa.

A planning application has now been submitted to Leeds City Council, where it will go before planning chiefs later this year.

Deborah Hayeems, Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager, told the Wetherby News: “We really believe a convenience store on the High Street will be popular for the range and value it offers and that it will help keep local shoppers in the village.

“Ultimately shoppers vote with their feet. If we do open a store here people will make a choice.”