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Greenlight for Tesco plan despite huge opposition
PLANS to increase the range of services at a Hampshire supermarket have been approved – despite more than 200 objections to the scheme.
Tesco’s application to build a Timpson “pod” outside the entrance to its store in Sizer Way, Dibden, has sparked fears that small independent retailers in the area will be driven out of business.
The pod will compete with existing shops by providing dry cleaning, key cutting and watch repairs.
But district councillors claimed they were powerless to block the scheme, saying there were no valid planning grounds for turning it down.
Cllr Michael Thierry said: “If I could find half a reason for recommending refusal I would do so.
“Traders in towns and villages need support and protection from major retailers who come in and, in some cases, desecrate what we’ve already got.”
Referring to the large number of objections, he added: “People are making a stand and we should support them.”
Cllr Sue Bennison said: “We’re all of one voice and want to turn this down, but we can’t.
“Perhaps the residents should vote with their feet and bring about the pod’s demise before it leads to the demise of small shops in Hythe.”
Other councillors warned that costs could be awarded against the authority if it rejected the application and lost any appeals.
A report to members said: “There have been many objections to the proposal.
“The majority relate to the fact that the village centre offers all the services proposed by the pod.”
Tesco referred the Echo to Timpson, but the chain said noone was available for comment.
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