MP joins fight against Tesco plans

Alec Shelbrooke visited the campaign HQ in Boston Spa on Saturday.
Alec Shelbrooke visited the campaign HQ in Boston Spa on Saturday.

MORE than a thousand people have now signed a petition objecting to a plan to open a Tesco store in Boston Spa.

Those who have signed include Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke, who spoke out against the scheme during a visit to the village last week.

The Wetherby News exclusively revealed the supermarket chain’s proposals to move into the grade II-listed Crown Hotel on Boston Spa’s High Street earlier this year.

The proposal is to transform the pub - currently owned by Enterprise Inns - into a convenience store.

Mr Shelbrooke, speaking during a visit to Boston Spa on Saturday, said: “In my opinion, a Tesco in Boston Spa would be detrimental to local traders and the local community.

“At present it’s estimated that the High Street turns over £70,000 a week, and, of that, Tesco will aim to take about £40,000.

“It doesn’t take a genius to work out what will happen to the local traders who have served Boston Spa for generations.”

He added: “On a practical note, the High Street is already congested and with new housing developments I fear for the further highways issues a Tesco would bring.”

Since the scheme was put forward, a ‘Say No To Tesco’ Action Group has been formed in Boston Spa and has now collected a total of 1,132 signatures since it began two weeks ago.

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.

Parish councillor Angela Windle, who has lived in Boston Spa for 14 years, and has helped set up the campaign against the scheme, said the action group wanted to “defend” Boston’s Spa’s High Street.

She told the Wetherby News: “Our main objection to the proposals is that a Tesco is not needed and it will take away business from other shop retailers in the town.”

“Boston Spa is a really special place, it has lots of lovely shops.

“The independent shops will not be able to compete with a multi-national chain such as Tesco.”

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

Deborah Hayeems, Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager, said: “We are obviously disappointed by the position the parish council and MP have taken but we have been encouraged by local residents who have been in touch to offer their support.

“We believe our sensitive conversion of the building to a small convenience store will offer choice and will complement the specialist shops in the village.”