|Brewery Field Campaigners|
Nevertheless, the Tory majority on the Committee voted to maintain the decision, rather than refer it back for further consideration by full Council.
The decision had been called in by the Labour Group on the Council because sale of public open space is against the Council’s own published policy, and because sale of a public open space to a major supermarket chain is neither necessary for the building of a Tesco store on the Northgate site, nor in the interests of local people.
In answer to questions, the Council’s Corporate Director confirmed that there is no cast-iron guarantee of public access after Tesco have taken possession of the Brewery Field. Whatever is agreed about public access at the point of sale, Tesco can apply, in the future to have this over-turned. A suggestion from the Corporate Director that we should trust Tesco was met with laughter from the packed public area.
Said Bridgwater Forward Chair Sally Jones: “Bridgwater town centre needs leisure and recreation facilities, not more supermarkets, if it is to survive. Tesco will be the death of existing town centre traders. We have said this until we’re blue in the face, but the Tories who run our Council refuse to listen. Why are they acting in the interests of big business and not in the interests of local people whose money they are spending?”
Bridgwater Forward will continue to oppose the sale of the whole Northgate site to Tesco. When they apply for planning permission for their 60,000 square feet store in the summer, we appeal to local people to lodge formal objections, and to join the lobbies and demonstrations which will be held.
GLEN BURROWS firstname.lastname@example.org / 07722087675