Traders to make last-ditch bid to stop new Lee-on-the-Solent Tesco

NOT HAPPY Lee-on-the-Solent traders, from left, butcher Neil Griffin, grocer Peter Patterson and baker Steve Porter, on the site where the new Tesco could be built.  Picture: Steve Reid (111730-264)
NOT HAPPY Lee-on-the-Solent traders, from left, butcher Neil Griffin, grocer Peter Patterson and baker Steve Porter, on the site where the new Tesco could be built. Picture: Steve Reid (111730-264)
Rae Bryden, manager at Joules in Gunwharf Quays, who was the Manager of the Year winner and was runner-up in the Fashion Store of the Year category at The News's Retail and Leisure Awards in 2016.  Picture: Sarah Standing (170883-5016)

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TRADERS and residents face losing their battle against plans for a new Tesco in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Gosport Borough Council officers have recommended plans for a Tesco Express store on the corner of Pier Street and Marine Parade East be approved.

It’s now up to councillors to decide if the shop gets the go-ahead at a meeting next week.

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

The supermarket giant says it will create between 20 and 30 jobs but members of the Lee Business Association say it will hit trade.

Peter Patterson, who owns the greengrocers in the High Street, said: ‘We’re very disappointed but there’s nothing we can do.

‘We will be making a deputation at the meeting but I think that is just a formality now and the decision has already been made.

‘The point I want to make is why they have chosen Lee and not Gosport. We’re OK left alone but Gosport desperately needs a face-lift.

‘We have worked hard to get Lee the way it is.’

Planning permission and a retail licence have already been granted for Pier House, where the new shop will be sited. But councillors still have to decide whether to allow the installation of a new shop front, signs and air conditioning units.

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

Members of Lee Business Association and the Lee-on-the-Solent Residents’ Association will speak at the meeting. Among their objections are that the plans would not be in keeping with the conservation area, and access and parking problems.

A planning report to councillors says: ‘It is considered the proposals will not have a harmful impact on residential or visual amenity or safety and will preserve the historic and architectural character and appearance of the conservation area.’

The meeting takes place at Gosport’s town hall at 6pm on Tuesday.