Tesco protest goes to the Town Hall

COACHLOADS of campaigners from Portishead are expected to descend on a planning meeting this week when an application regarding a new Tesco store is discussed.

North Somerset Council’s north area committee will meet tomorrow (Thurs) when proposals to install an ATM at the former Royal Oak pub building in West Hill will be considered.

Tesco’s plans to open an Express store at the empty pub building have caused anger among many residents who feel it will threaten the livelihood of other shop owners in the area.

The retail giant does not need planning permission to open a store there but does need it for a new ATM, an application which has attracted more than 70 objections.

Tomorrow’s meeting was due to be held at the council’s Castlewood offices in Clevedon but has now been moved to the Town Hall in Weston due to the number of people hoping to attend.

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Members of the No West Hill Tesco action group plan to use the meeting to lobby councillors.

They say they have fresh hope of stopping Tesco opening in the former pub after Eric Pickles, the Government’s Communities Secretary, wrote to North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox saying it could be stopped.

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He said: “Where such conversions cause a problem locally, the local authority, working with the local community, has the power to restrict such changes by bringing forward an Article 4 Direction.

“This removes the automatic permitted development right, which means that any change of use to the pub would trigger the need for planning permission, which the local authority would consider against the policies in their local plan.”

Almost 3,000 Portishead residents have signed a petition against the proposed Tesco Express store.

To find out more about the campaign visit www.nowesthilltesco.com

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