Anger as Tesco drums up support in Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 17:08 20 May 2011 | UPDATED: 11:28 25 May 2011

An artist's impression of Tesco's plans for the Broadwater Road site in WGC, showing the new supermarket in the former Shredded Wheat factory

An artist's impression of Tesco's plans for the Broadwater Road site in WGC, showing the new supermarket in the former Shredded Wheat factory

Archant

ANGER has greeted a campaign by a supermarket chain to drum-up support for a new development ahead of councillors deciding its fate.

"I urge everyone who receives these cards from Tesco not to tear them up but to write a great big “NO” on the card before sending it to their borough councillor.
I think that this dirty trick shows that Tesco are now concerned about the amount of opposition which is being expressed by the people of this town, and beyond. I say to them ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’."

WGC Society chairman Shaun O’Reilly

Tesco bosses have sent out letters to residents across the area, asking them to forward postcards with messages of support to Welwyn Hatfield Councillors.

Although the decision date has not yet been set by the council, Tesco bosses have sent out letters to people who have “expressed support for the plans”.

The letter thanks the resident and states: “You are not alone, over 1,200 WGC residents have expressed support for the plans.

“Now it’s up to your local council to decide if the plans should go ahead.

“We need your help to make sure your councillors listen to you.”

The letters come complete with resident’s ward councillors names and addresses and postcards to add your own comments on before sending.

But anti-Tesco campaigner and WGC Society member, Dr Dennis Lewis said: “We’re all very disappointed Tesco has stooped to playing these dirty tricks on our residents in order to try and force through their new superstore on the old Shredded Wheat site, which very few want.

“Some people in our community recently contacted the society to express their anger when they received a letter from Tesco thanking them for their support – which they had certainly not given!”

Tesco spokesman Michael Kissman said he was shocked by the term “dirty tricks”.

He said: “It’s a democratic planning process and there are hundreds and hundreds of people in WGC that want to see the development move forward and the hundreds of jobs it will create, the housing and the swimming pool and not least bring forward a development on the derelict site with a listed building.

“We are keen to speak to people who support it, clearly some people have a different view and are free to express them to councillors too.”

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