Screenshot of Shepton Mallet Journal cartoon (published July 15th, 2010)
Multiple film crews have been a constant fixture in the town centre and there is a real buzz in the High Street. But just as there is a sense of change and hope, just a short walk up the High Street, the Tesco already vast superstore is applying for planning permission to expand its existing store by a further 10,000 sq ft to include a cafe/restaurant and an extended range of goods.
The problem is quite simple: Shepton is reeling from the over-balanced dominance of a gigantic store sucking the town’s business away. There already is a Costa cafe on Tesco’s vast airport scale site and the cafes in town don’t need even more competition from this corporate giant.
Tessa Munt MP outside The Bell Hotel in Shepton Mallet (July 2010) at the Friday morning market, signing the petition to stop Tesco expanding and opening a cafe restaurant in their already over-sized superstore
On behalf of all the traders and most of the residents of Shepton, local lawyer, Irene Handley, collected over 600 signatures on a petition to stop Tesco’s cafe for the sake of the existing range of cafes, restaurants and businesses in the High Street.
Success! People Power makes Tesco withdraw their application to open a restaurant / café in their extended store.