Monday 1.30pm - SELLING off Louth's Cattle Market site for a giant new supermarket would destroy the town's unique collection of little shops, according to a new pressure group.
Keep Louth Special, set up by a group of Louth residents, shoppers and local businesses, says ELDC being open to offers for the retail development of the five acre site amounts to playing Russian roulette with one of the few unspoiled market towns left in Lincolnshire.
"Right across the country, big supermarkets are exterminating local businesses, and in doing so are taking the friendliness, the service and the fun out of shopping," said Richard James, one of the group's founders.
"We all use supermarkets to a certain extent," said Joanna Heselwood of Keep Louth Special. "But the cattle market may end up with a store large enough for shoppers to get everything under one roof. What then would be left for the rest of the town?"
The group says whether people live in or around Louth, or merely value the unique shopping experience, they should write to their councillor or MP to make their voice heard.
"East Lindsey is already mired in controversy over the siting of a leisure centre in Wood Lane, and the abandonment of responsibility for Hubbards Hills," said Keep Louth Special spokesman Nick Louth.
"It is high time that local residents were listened to and a full debate begun before any decisions are made."
The group is formally launching a petition on Saturday, November 1 and is aiming to get 5,000 signatures by Christmas.
"We are entering a time of recession, when communities need to pull together," Nick Louth said.
"By spending locally, Louth shoppers can help local businesses, farmers and suppliers who in turn account for much of the town's employment. This in turn keeps up house prices and bolsters prosperity all round. By contrast, spending everything at a huge new supermarket would mean money sucked from the local economy, never to return."
Click here to go to the Keep Louth Special website