Plan to keep ASDA out

PUBLISHED: 02:01 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:59 10 June 2010

AN Exmouth campaign group has pledged direct action to derail development plans on the estuary-side, and keep ASDA out of town. At a vocal public meeting of the Exmouth Citizens' Forum (ECF) the loudest cheer of the night came in support of a slow march t

AN Exmouth campaign group has pledged direct action to derail development plans on the estuary-side, and keep ASDA out of town.At a vocal public meeting of the Exmouth Citizens' Forum (ECF) the loudest cheer of the night came in support of a slow march to block the A376. Campaigners plan direct action in a desire to protect the estuary-side from building and a distrust of the ASDA/Walmart empire.Last week the group met to canvas opinion on future campaigns - determined to fight and reminding residents that the supermarket was not yet a "done deal". Showing a film focusing on how ASDA/Walmart stores had impacted upon independent traders in American communities, Forum committee member Mark Wilson said: "This will be a ghost town if this organisation comes here. There will be very few shops left here; they will all close down - mark my words."ECF member Maureen Loman added: "This is going to be a monster, monster development and it obviously won't regenerate Exmouth. It is going to be a very, very difficult fight as the powers that be are determined to sell."Residents were encouraged to contact their local councillor to make objections clear. Prominent environmentalists will be contacted for support against estuary-side development. In an appeal for positive action, former Rolle student Chris White called for Exmouth to become a 'transition town' - advocating greater self-sufficiency."We know we need to buy from local [food] producers," said Mr White. "We need to think about making Exmouth a transition town. More community markets, not supermarkets."Independent Lympstone and Woodbury ward District Councillor Ben Ingham chaired the meeting.He said it would be ethically and environmentally wrong to develop the site in this manner. "I am disappointed EDDC has considered development when the people of Exmouth made it clear they were upset at such a development," he added.The forum agreed to invite EDDC chief executive Mark Williams, corporate director for environment Karime Hassan and council leader Sara Randall Johnson for questioning at a further meeting.The meeting marked the re-opening of ECF activity after a previous 10,000-plus petition, public survey and a referendum saying no to EDDC's 'Unlocking Exmouth' proposals in 2005.

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