Long-running store saga should come to resolution

EDITOR – In reply to ‘Let’s not jump the planning gun’ in last week’s Leader, I would like to state that over 900 people attended Tesco’s meeting at the sports centre (the number was published in the Leader).

Of the 4,000 signatures that were obtained by the Retail Development Group for an ASDA Supermarket, how many of the people who signed were offered an alternative supermarket to sign for?

The Retail Development Group was set up some years ago after the ASDA promotion bus came to Mablethorpe.

A public meeting was set up and hundreds attended. A vote was taken and ASDA was the supermarket most people voted for at the time.

A committee was set up chaired by Mike McDonald, and meetings were held on a monthly basis. This was now known as the ASDA group, and it was agreed that we should invite ASDA to Mablethorpe and to attend one of our meetings and to look at various sites in the town for them to consider opening a store.

The sports centre was one of these proposed sites, and there were no objections by any member. It was also agreed that any supermarket MUST be in the town centre as an out of town development would ruin the towns trade.

A delegation from ASDA came to Mablethorpe and were greeted by Mike McDonald and Tony Howard, the town mayor at the time.

The delegation from ASDA never met the ASDA group and were shown five sites, the sports centre, Stanley Avenue, Quebec Road and two other sites that were not disclosed to us.

The ASDA group waited for ASDA to forward information to us regarding their visit, and were left in the dark for many months until we were informed they were no longer interested in Mablethorpe due to the size of the sites offered.

The ASDA group then attended a town council meeting. It was decided it was not correct to be seen to favour one supermarket so the ASDA group became the Retail Development Group.

Several meetings were held under this group, but the main aim was still for ASDA to come to Mablethorpe. However, other supermarkets were contacted to little or no avail.

The Retail Development Group has not held a meeting for over a year and in fact became dormant until the Lindum Development proposal.

If the Golf Road development goes ahead, will this not bring extra traffic into and around the town? Golf Road is not as wide as the High Street and residents have the right to park outside their homes, making the road narrower still.

The junction between Golf Road and Alford Road will become a nightmare, as will the junction with Quebec Road. Worse still, drivers will use the side streets as a short-cut.

Regarding the loss of car parking and the market, we lose the car park twice a week during the three months of the high season due to the market being sited there.

It’s time a new site was found for the market; come winter-time the market is as good as over by 2pm and if it is windy or raining the traders don’t turn up.

As for a one-way system, why not? It may solve problems. It has been suggested several times, that a paved precinct area would be good for the town. This could also accommodate the market.

At the end of the day, Tesco wanted to come to Mablethorpe 13 years ago but were turned down by one vote by ELDC. ASDA have done nothing to show an interest in the town.

Tesco are not just a food store, they offer several services. It would be nice to get two ATMs back in the town centre. People were disgusted over the bank holiday weekend as all three ATMs were empty by Saturday dinner time.

The Co-op will not lose out if Tesco come to Mablethorpe, as their prices are now competitive and their produce is first class.

Chris Baker

Golf Road, Mablethorpe