Collingham fires heat up on Tesco

NAWN 1103075 Vox pop The Old Star pub. 1103075AMf
NAWN 1103075 Vox pop The Old Star pub. 1103075AMf
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Collingham residents came out in force at a packed public meeting this week to oppose any proposals for a Tesco store in the village.

More than 150 people attended the annual parish meeting at Collingham Memorial Hall on Tuesday night to show their opposition.

Tesco, who are yet to submit any formal planning application to Leeds City Council, have shown interest in turning the former Old Star pub into a Metro-style store in the heart of the village, as revealed by the Wetherby News in February.

The meeting, led by parish councillor and chairman Andy Broadbent, saw residents ask a number of questions about the best way to stop a store opening in the village.

Shop traders in the village have criticised the plans fearing the competition will take business away from them.

David Prout, owner of Collingham Post Office, told the Wetherby News he fears a Tesco would leave him staring bankruptcy in the face.’

He said: “I do not think the people of Collingham have any interest in a Tesco here and that is shown by the volume of people who have turned out tonight. For me personally if this goes through, I will be looking bankruptcy in the face The great bulk of customers who come into the post office tell me they are opposed to this too.

“The whole idea of a Tesco store here is crazy. Traffic would be a big problem with lorries parking and stopping from deliveries. This is only a small village and it would have a very detrimental effect on the community.”

Lillian Prior, a Collingham resident who attended the meeting, said she was concerned about increased traffic affecting the village.

“I think this plan will create more traffic and will make the roads more dangerous, especially with school children close by. We have a village community and lots of independent shops- which is lovely as it is- we do not want this being spoilt by a Tesco here,” she said.

A postal vote will now be arranged for residents to vote on whether they would like a Tesco store in the village.

Coun Proctor (Cons) said: “As ward councillors we are here to represent the views of the local community and we fully support residents who are opposed to this. There has been no planning application from Tesco as yet and until there is we have no idea what is the next action to take.

Collingham resident Millie Bell echoed the view of the majority, telling the Wetherby News: “A Tesco here would disturb our village and I feel it would be a detriment to the area, rather than an enhancement. With more cars and less parking it will make the area more congested too.

“I have come here tonight because I am very worried about these plans going ahead. I think all the independent shops in Wetherby would struggle if this development got the go-ahead too.”

Chairman Andy Broadbent pledged to keep residents informed on any planning application Tesco may submit. He told residents: “If we do hear anything of the plans residents will be the first to know. As a village it is our view to support our local residents and I think from the vote tonight people are unanimously against this development.” At time of going to press, Tesco were unavailable for comment.