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Romsey Tesco campaigners step up their fight against Broadlands store
CAMPAIGNERS battling a controversial new multi-millionpound supermarket planned for Romsey have stepped up their fight for the future of the town’s small shops.
They were out in the Hampshire market town centre to win backing from people to stop Tesco from building on the Broadlands estate owned by Lord Brabourne, the late Lord Mountbatten’s grandson.
The supermarket has been eyeing up a six-acre site known as Fairground Field and had promised 200 new jobs.
So far more than 1,000 people have signed an online petition after a two-day exhibition of the plans, which include a 400-space car park in front of the store, with three hours’ free parking open to non-customers.
But Romsey resident and anti-Tesco campaigner Lolie Borgars said the town’s character would be in jeopardy if permission was granted.
She said: “I do not want to see Romsey ruined. If you love Romsey you should say no to Tesco.
“In other areas in the country where big supermarkets have come, the market towns have been destroyed.
“Business rates are already crippling independent shops and Tesco will come in and crucify them.”
She also claimed the store was unnecessary considering the supermarkets already available inside and outside Romsey.
If approved the proposals could see the bulldozing of six homes owned by Broadlands in Burma Road. The estate says it will find alternative accommodation for those for whom it has a legal obligation to do so and would also try to help other tenants find new homes.
The firm would not say exactly how big the store would be but confirmed it would be larger than the Romsey branch of Waitrose, would stock non-food items as well as groceries and would probably have a coffee shop.
There are no plans for a petrol station to go alongside the store.
Following the completion of surveys on the site there will be a public consultation exercise involving meetings and exhibitions through the spring before a planning application is submitted to Test Valley Borough Council in the summer.
Tesco aims to submit a planning application to the council in September.