TWO coachloads of protesters are expected to travel en masse from Newport to Telford next week as planning bosses run the rule over a controversial bid for a new Sainsbury’s supermarket.
Fifty-seater buses have been booked to transport passionate anti-supermarket campaigners from the town to Telford & Wrekin Council headquarters at Civic Offices on Wednesday.
Police have been drafted in to keep order. The application for a 50,000sq ft store will be discussed at the meeting at 6pm. It is recommended for approval by authority members.
The Save Newport Campaign, which was formed last year to fight a string of proposed developments in Newport, said the fight will go on.
Chairman David Parker said: “We’ll continue to protest up to and beyond Telford & Wrekin’s decision. We’re not throwing in the towel. The next step is to ask the government to call it in.”
The protesters’ coaches are expected to leave from the Guildhall, in High Street, at 4.45pm. A booking system will be put in place. Details of the protest will be announced soon at www.savenewport.co.uk
The council’s civic offices can cater for about 80 people in the main suite and about 60 people in another room where a speaker system will be in place so that the debate can be heard.If more people turn up to the meeting they are unlikely to be allowed into the meeting.
Councillor Adrian Meredith, a Save Newport figurehead, said: “The council promised me publicly that the meeting would be in a bigger venue or even at the theatre in Oakengates, but that has completely changed. But even if there is an overspill of people outside it will show the strength of feeling against this.”
One or two people will be given five minutes to argue the case against.
A spokesman for the campaign group added: “We reject both the conclusions outlined in the planning officers’ report and the analysis on which they are based.”
They said that a new Morrisons supermarket at Mere Park will meet the needs of Newport and that there are concerns with water drainage issues.
A spokesman for Telford & Wrekin Council said: “The council chamber where the plans board meets can accommodate 80 members of the public. If any more than that attend, we have adjacent committee rooms where members of the public can listen to audio from the plans board so they can follow the debate.”