Group feels Tesco may enhance Belper

An online group set up in support of Tesco coming to Belper is proving to be more popular than a group in direct competition.

Belper For Tesco, which was set up on the social networking website Facebook in opposition to the Belper Against Tesco Stores (BATS) group, now has 11 more members than the competition.

Members of the groups are also engaged in a bitter war of words over the possible development of the supermarket on land owned by the supermarket at Belper Meadows Edge.

The company has not yet submitted a planning application.

Belper For Tesco was set up by Jenny Flint, who said she was 'fed up' of being given what she feels is false information by the BATS group, which was established last year.

She said: "They put out a little bit of information to draw people in but don't give them the whole story. It was grating on me, and I wanted to see if I was the only one in Belper who wanted a Tesco.

"The response has been overwhelming, even though we're not an official group.

"I just think 'why can't we all sit down with Tesco and have a discussion about it so we can work together?'

"The old Thorntons site is basically derelict, something needs to be done with it, and everybody shops in supermarkets.

"I think it would benefit Belper, and bring people who go out of Belper to shop, back into the town. It would enhance the town, not detract from it.

"People want somewhere they can shop locally."

Anti-Tesco protesters have said the development of a supermarket on the site would threaten the town's heritage and beauty, and take business away from independent shops on King Street and Bridge Street.

BATS spokesman Andy Minion said he did not agree with the views expressed by the Belper For Tesco group.

He said: "We give all the information that we have, and I don't know what information this group has which could counter that."

Mr Minion added: "I think it's fine that another group has been set up.

"It's all part of the debate."

Click here to sign into Facebook to see the group.