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Marple residents unite in campaign to stop Tesco opening supersize store

By Felicity Robertson

Marple residents have created a large scale campaign against the supermarket giant Tesco, who want to build a supersized store in the town.

Proposals for a supersize Tesco have been met with strong opposition by the residents of Marple, Stockport.

The plans come as Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College have decided to relocate the whole college to the Buxton Lane campus. It is currently split over two campuses outside Marple town centre on Hibbert Lane and Buxton Lane.

Governors have concluded they need to sell the Hibbert Lane campus to raise between £10 and £12 million pounds to refurbish the Buxton Lane Campus.

Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College confirmed earlier this year that they were in discussion with two of the main supermarkets. They have since confirmed that Tesco is the main contender but have not announced when contracts will be signed.

The implications of opening a supermarket that will cover 4.5 acres of land are massive. Concerned residents and businesses fear for the future of Marple’s economy. It is a small town with an established cafe culture that would be destroyed if a major chain supermarket opened a minute’s walk from the town centre.

Residents have not held back in taking action to prevent Tesco from opening. There has been over 10,000 people sign the online petition against it and 6000 have signed the paper petition which is located at the Marple in Action stall set up in Marple precinct at weekends.

In contrast, there is also a Yes campaign which has been set up on facebook. Paula Smith of the Marple in Action campaign group said: “People signing up to the yes campaign have not done the research. The land was a gift to Marple for education.”

People are arguing that Marple needs ‘a proper supermarket’ as the only options at the minute are The Coop which has a limited selection of stock and the prices are relatively high, Iceland which has mainly frozen food and there is a small Somerfield for convenience items.

The main fear though is that by introducing such a large scale super market, it won’t act as competition but will force businesses including J.H.Neal’s Greengrocers, Bare Necessities and Archer’s bakers to close.

The land has not yet been sold but from previous cases such as in Dunfermline, the minute any contract is signed, Tesco will be submitting planning applications.

The main issue with is that although Stockport Council said any planning application for a large supermarket on the college land will be rejected, if Tesco decide to launch an appeal Stockport Council have to pay.

No decisions are set to be made until later this year so for more information in the meantime visit:

http://www.marple-uk.com/marple-in-action/index.htm

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