Tesco Debate: Leave Belper untouched

Dear Sir,

I should like to add my name to the list of people voting NO to Tesco Stores moving into Belper.

What can everyone be thinking of, do we really want to be anywhere in the British Isles (in the future, possibly the world) and not know where we are in terms of shopping parks. Once the large supermarket is allowed to ‘buy’ its way into a town that town dies. The idea that for us to survive we must all have the most choice, at the cheapest price, at any given moment, is insulting. I do not want huge stores in Belper, we already have a perfectly adequate supermarket in Morrisons. If I wish to be bombarded with 18 different manufacturers of the same product with 18 different prices I can go to Sainsbury, Tesco or Asda already, they are close enough to Belper now. I would like to keep the character, individuality and friendly charm that is Belper, if I want the bland footprint of a multimillion consortium I can visit it. Please, please do not destroy another of our market towns.

My argument is simple, let the people decide where they shop - in a small town with the facilities already there or the shopping retail park built away from the already existing facilities not in the middle of the town. The likes of Tesco, if they are so desperate for custom, can provide ‘free’ buses to their Shangri-La facilities. but leave them outside of our towns.

Can the planners not see beyond a cheap buck, the thought of someone, anyone, paying for the facilities in the town (any town not just Belper) is proving impossible for them to refuse. It will be a very sad day if Belper should lose its soul to the bulldozing pounds of the likes of Tesco.

Before I retired I worked for an architect and it was well known that a supermarket scout would search an area, find a plot, the land would be bought (sometimes after attractive cash offers were made to land owners) they would look for the vulnerable, waive money at the council for provision of new roads, a by-pass, roundabouts, fund a swimming pool or sports facility. They would come in with ideas, fade away when awkward questions were asked, they would wait but not go away. They would return, sometimes years later, a change of political party maybe; but we all knew eventually they would return to wear the people down. Just like a shark circling its prey until it is exhausted. The way in which we are allowing supermarket chains to bulldoze their way through this country is as disgusting as those loggers and treefellers that are scything their way through the rainforests. We can see the ‘big picture’ where that is concerned, why do we turn a blind eye to the future with our own bulldozing machine here?

That is it, I could go on forever, but alas, I do not have the one thing that would make everyone agree with me, what’s that? Well, a bottomless purse, of course!!

I leave you a person full of optimism that sanity will prevail and Belper will remain untouched,

Janet Liggins