More than 60 per cent of people who gave feedback at Tesco’s public exhibition were in favour of a new out-of-town store, the retailer has said.
A spokesman for Tesco said 64 per cent of the 146 people who returned feedback forms at its event on Friday and Saturday were in favour of the plan to put a supermarket at the former Focus DIY store in Rockingham Road.
A total of 26 per cent were against and ten per cent said they were undecided.
More than 250 attended the exhibition at the Three Swans Hotel, where they were shown artist’s impressions of how the supermarket could look.
The plan includes a store similar in size to the existing Sainsbury’s supermarket in Springfield Street, with a 280-space car park offering free parking for the first three hours. Tesco says it will create the equivalent of 200 full-time jobs.
Tesco corporate affairs manager Simon Petar said: “The vast majority of people coming to see our exhibition agree that the additional 200 jobs and increased product choice and value is complementary with the expansion of Market Harborough.
“We will now study in more depth the many helpful suggestions to improve our proposal ahead of formally submitting the application to the council.”
The firm said it hopes to submit its planning application for the new store within the next four or five weeks.
Meanwhile social media has provided an interesting battleground for the issue this week.
The Mail reported last week on Harborough resident Jon Pollard, who set up the @NoTesco account on social networking site Twitter amid fears the new store would drive away business from the town centre.
A rival Twitter account to back Tesco’s proposal – @TescoYes –was also created.
However, attempts by the Mail to invite the person behind the campaign to put their view across in this paper were met with silence.
When the Mail searched Twitter for the user yesterday (Wednesday) we received a message saying the account had been suspended.
Mr Pollard said he plans to conduct his own survey in Harborough to gauge residents’ views on the proposal.
The Mail has been inundated with letters on the issue, with the majority coming out against the proposal.