Lee-on-the-Solent traders lose their last-ditch bid to stop new Tesco

OUTVOTED Alison Roast, from Lee-on-the-Solent Residents' Association and Peter Patterson of the Lee Business Association leave last night's meeting.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves (114149-1)
OUTVOTED Alison Roast, from Lee-on-the-Solent Residents' Association and Peter Patterson of the Lee Business Association leave last night's meeting. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (114149-1)
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SHOPKEEPERS have admitted defeat in their opposition to plans for a new Tesco in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Councillors approved plans for a Tesco Express store on the corner of Pier Street and Marine Parade East last night.

Permission has already been given for the shop but Gosport Borough Council had to decide whether to allow the installation of a new store front, signs and air conditioning units.

Business owners and people who live nearby have been angrily protesting the proposals for some time.

Traders say it will hit business and residents think a Tesco would look out of place in the conservation area.

There were also concerns about access for deliveries and parking.

Peter Patterson, who owns the greengrocers in the High Street, said: ‘Obviously we’re very disappointed but we didn’t expect anything else.

‘I think that’s probably as far as we will go now.

‘We have serious concerns about the parking and the quality of life for the residents nearby.

‘Gosport needs this kind of investment but not at the expense of Lee-on-the-Solent, which is unique.’

The Lee-on-the-Solent Residents’ Association objected to the plans, saying Tesco’s colours would look out of place in the shopping area.

Alison Roast, from the association, said: ‘I’m disappointed but I knew it was going to be approved.

‘We were just concerned because they are going to be very bright colours for a conservation area.

‘The main issue was the signage and a lot of members felt the same.’

‘We’re not saying that we’re opposing Tesco coming to Lee, all we’re saying is that we don’t like the colours.’

Gosport Borough Council was sent at least 60 letters of objection to the plans and two supporting letters.

Richard Okill, of Marine Parade West, spoke in favour of the plans at the meeting of Gosport’s regulatory board last night.

He said: ‘It’s typical not-in-my-back-yard behaviour.

‘I resigned from the Lee-on-the-Solent Residents’ Association three months ago over this issue.

‘I think it will be good for the people of Lee-on-the-Solent.

‘It’s going to put pressure on the monopoly of the Co-op and one or two other stores.

‘What Lee-on-the-Solent needs is a bit of competition.’