Residents’ anger over plans for new supermarket

CHEDDAR residents have lashed out against plans to build a new Tesco store in the village on the current grounds of the football club.

Cheddar AFC revealed last week that they are planning to sell their Bowdens Park ground to the supermarket chain and move to new state of the art facilities which they say will be open to the village community.

Tesco are yet to confirm how large the store on the half-acre site will be or what it will contain.

Cheddar Traders Association member Ann Atherton said: “It will have a very detrimental effect on the village.

“I am appalled by the comment Tesco have made. They are talking like they are doing us a favour but they are not.

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“They say they are going to create new jobs but what about all the jobs that will be lost when village shops go out of business?”

Phil Tout, owner of Cheddar convenience store Budgens, said people will use Tesco because it has free parking.

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“People hate paying for parking, so they will just go to Tesco and park for free instead of coming into the village centre.

“There’s only one road in and out of Cheddar, so the traffic will be a nightmare.”

He said if the store has a bank, a post office or a petrol station that Cheddar traders would lose out.

He said: “They may as well just knock down the village centre and build it there, because that’s the effect it is going to have.”

The football club has also come under fire.

Cheddar Parish Council have hit back against claims by the club’s consultancy firm that the move will benefit village residents in terms of health and fitness.

Lyn Goodfellow, council chairman, said: “Their statement implies that Cheddar has no facilities for people to use to address their fitness and health concerns.

“This ignores the excellent Kings of Wessex Leisure Centre which caters for all kinds of fitness exercise and the sports facilities at Sharpham Road, where cricket, football and rugby are played by all ages and the pavilion and pitches are well used throughout the year.”

Council clerk Liz Brimmell said that despite persistent rumours about the move, this week was the first time the council had been directly informed of the club’s plans.

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