Wait for Tesco in Marlborough continues


Campaigners for a Tesco in Marlborough are still waiting for a store, despite Wiltshire getting nine new 'big four' supermarkets in two years.

Research by the BBC found permission was granted for at least 44 Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco stores in the West in the two years to November.

But Sainsbury's, which also wants to open in Marlborough, is taking legal action against the council.

Campaigners have said they just want a cheaper alternative to Waitrose.

The UK-wide research aimed to discover the number of new 'big four' supermarkets given approval between 1 November 2008 and 1 November 2010.

It found that at least 577 stores - 392 of them Tesco - were approved across the UK during that period.

Lisa Farrell, who has campaigned for a Tesco in Marlborough for almost two years, said it was a shame none of them had opened in her town.

'Two-tier town'

"It's just a two-tier town, you've got the rich that can shop in the town centre and all of us low-income families who can't afford to and have to travel to Swindon or Devizes," Miss Farrell said.

Plans for a Tesco in Marlborough were approved by Wiltshire Council in March, but Sainsbury's has since called for a judicial review into the decision, saying their application should have been considered at the same time.

The council said it did not expect a resolution to the matter until March 2011.

Miss Farrell, a 48-year-old hospitality manager, said: "They're forgetting us. We just want somewhere we can go and shop. At the moment we still have to travel or shop online.

"Places down the road have six or seven supermarkets, so I can understand if they get upset about another one, but Marlborough is full of tourists so shops charge what they like."

Tesco has begun building the store on Marlborough Business Park and said it did not anticipate a delay in opening.

A spokesman said: "Construction is underway, we are recruiting in the local area and we look forward to opening for customers next year.

"People have been asking for a supermarket for some time and we've answered that request."

A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "We have been given leave to appeal this decision in the High Court. Given that this decision is currently in the legal process it is not appropriate for us to comment further on this at this time".

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