Plans to boycott new Tesco

PORTISHEAD residents say they will boycott Tesco Express after plans were revealed that it will open in the town without any public consultation.

At the beginning of September, Tesco wrote to the immediate neighbours of the former Royal Oak pub in West Hill to advise them that it was going to turn the property into a convenience store.

Many residents say they are furious about the move and are worried about a number of issues, including the lack of parking outside the premises and when deliveries will take place. They also fear for the survival of the nearby family-run Costcutter supermarket which has served the community for the past five years.

Royston Cook, of Drakes Way, said: “We have enough supermarkets and convenience stores in Portishead. Many of us will boycott Tesco in West Hill as we do not see the need for it.”

Mr Cook says the residents he has talked to are furious that Tesco is bulldozing its way into a local community that is currently served adequately by independent traders who will no doubt suffer because of the supermarket giant.

Other people who use the West Hill shops are vowing to favour Costcutter over Tesco to help it compete with a new store.

Rosemary Sheppard, who lives a short walk from the Express site, said: “The Patel family has provided the West Hill community with a first class service for many years but what chance do they have with Tesco for competition? I for one will continue to support them.”

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And a resident from Highlands Road, who did not want to be named, said: “If no permission is required from the authorities for Tesco to change the use of the pub to retail, there is no protection for nearby traders from the bullyboys who have no consideration for other people’s livelihoods.”

Icy Patel, who owns Costcutter, says he is very disappointed that no-one seems to be able to stop Tesco doing whatever it wants to do.

He said: “The West Hill community is not big enough to support two supermarkets so one of us will be hit when the new store opens in the new year.”

Members of the Patel family have embraced their role in the community since they opened the store in 2007.

As well as providing for their customers, they have supported organisations including the youth centre, local football teams and schools with sponsorship.

Mr Patel added: “Customers have asked us to hold a petition in our store so that they can show their opposition to the proposed Tesco Express, and this is now available for people to sign if they wish to do so.”

A statement issued by Tesco Express said: “The Express will not directly compete with more than 90 per cent of local businesses.”