An MP has hit back at claims that a multi-million pound supermarket development in Scarborough will swamp the town’s independent traders.
Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said the new Tesco superstore would encourage people to shop in the town centre and attract visitors to the seaside resort.
Councillors gave the go-ahead on Thursday for two supermarket developments, but the Tesco scheme has provoked a wave of fierce opposition.
Dozens of protesters were outside the Scarborough Council planning committee meeting, voicing concerns regarding the impact the Tesco store would have on residents and the town’s road network.
Central ward councillor, Eric Broadbent, has opposed the scheme, claiming it would wipe out independent retailers and dramatically change the town’s shopping centre.
“I think it’s going to see shops close down,” he said. “Tesco states that people will come shopping in the superstore, leave their cars and walk into town. But who on earth is going to do their weekly shopping, put it in the back of the car and say ‘lets go shopping?’”
But Mr Goodwill argued it would boost the town’s economy and added: “If people go to the new Tesco store they will be able to go into town and use the excellent specialist shops we have there.
These days people do big shops in supermarkets as they are used to buying everything in one place.
People already come from Whitby to Scarborough to do big shops and I think this will pull people in from outlying areas and bring in new customers to spend money in other places as well as Tesco.”
Protesters jeered as councillors voted five to four in favour of the scheme, which will see Tesco’s existing Westwood store replaced with a 65,000 sq ft outlet on Dean Road and the current Sainsbury’s store in Falsgrave Road expanded by 33,900 sq ft.
Both supermarket giants claim the new developments will boost jobs and help tackle long-term unemployment.