Sherborne is great without you

Campaign Update No. 4

Tesco – a few truths are emerging…

A meeting was held on 31st January between Tesco representatives and key local organisations including Sherborne Chamber of Trade & Commerce – we’re sharing a few key facts from that meeting with you.  We can guarantee they are factual.

  1. Tesco plans a 28,000 sq ft out-of-town SUPERSTORE, make no mistake about it [definition of a superstore is one with more than 2500 m2 trading space]. To put it in perspective, that’s around 25% larger than Sainsbury’s in Sherborne and 130% larger than The Co-operative.
  2. There will be 200+ FREE car parking spaces – meaning customers will shop at Tesco, park for free at Tesco, then leave Tesco… at a huge detriment to footfall and business turnover in Sherborne’s town centre.
  3. Tesco proposes a comparatively high percentage of non-food items will be sold – it says 73% grocery / 27% non-food.  This will certainly hit the trade of many town centre businesses, not just food businesses. Statistics from countless post-Tesco towns supports this.
  4. It will sell news and magazine lines – a further blow to your favourite corner shop or high street newsagent which may make redundancies or close as a direct result of losing a core part of their business.  Where then to get that handy pint of milk when you need it?


Access is proposed from the already busy Horsecastles Lane – the existing hotel entrance widened to create a permanent service access road and dual customer entrance/exit roads. Mayhem comes to mind.


To dispel the myth of ‘200 jobs’ on offer, Tesco’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Melanie Chiswell, discloses 75% of these will be part-time.  Deduct the loss of 35 hotel jobs and subsequent downturn in town centre employment and it’s clear the ‘new’ employment offered by Tesco will soon become a net loss to the local employment market.  Paul Hughes, Tesco’s Regional Development Manager also says “they cannot guarantee jobs will go to local people”.


Tesco says its research shows 30% of Sherborne’s town centre trade comes from tourism.  Odd that they think demolishing the largest hotel of just two in the town won’t create an immediate downturn in our tourism pound – impacting not only local shops but also restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and local transport services.


Tesco bases its assumptions of Sherborne’s shopping habits with an ‘independent telephone survey’ of 500 households [Parish Records for 2011 show 4493 households in Sherborne]  Melanie Chiswell spins this to say ‘Half the people they have spoken to do their main weekly shop outside Sherborne’ ie 47.7% of the 500 they’ve reached.   Or in other words Melanie  around 6% of Sherborne’s households – but every little helps!


From Arfon Hughes, MD of Mango Planning (consultants to Tesco) who said…

Tesco sees “no direct impact and very limited indirect impact to Sherborne’s high street”

The worrying thing is, he was SERIOUS.

shuts every little shop

Make a diary date now – attend the Public Consultations and make your opinion count.

For details of dates and times click HERE






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