By Gavin Harper
Residents in the East Lothian town of Haddington have voiced anger at supermarket giant Tesco’s plans to move their store away from the town centre, a move which would lead to a major downturn in business in the town.
It is believed that the supermarket chain wish to move to the outskirts of the town, however their chosen location is currently not served by any public transport links, thus making a move in the near-future seem unlikely.
Regardless, the local residents are concerned at these plans, and have voiced this concern through a petition that is expected to be given to the local council in the hope that their influence will end the supermarket’s plans.
Local shop owner Joe Forte, who is also a member of the Haddington Business Association, said: “We believe that any developments to the town centre should only take place if it doesn’t harm existing businesses. However, it would seem clear to us that the plans drawn up by Tesco would cause a major downturn in town centre businesses”. It is believed that any move will now be prevented in the immediate future, and local residents also hope that the move will now be scrapped altogether.
One local said: “Just now, we can go to all the shops in the one visit, but if they move Tesco then it’ll be a completely different story. It’ll take us all day to get to the shops. It’ll take all the business away from the local shops, and most of them have closed down anyway recently so they should be trying to keep the town busy.
Tesco bosses have said there is a need for a new store to meet customer demand from the surrounding area, which has increased since the store first opened in 1997, but it remains to be seen whether this store will be on the existing site, or if the supermarket giants will get their way.