Concerns that Tesco has a near monopoly in Inverness must be taken on board and plans for a fourth store rejected in order to safeguard the diversity of the town’s centre, Green Highlands & Islands MSP Eleanor Scott said today. Dr Scott has written to Holm Community Council offering her support in opposing the fourth store, and has also lodged an objection to the planning application.
Green MSPs have been backing community campaigns against unnecessary supermarket developments across Scotland as part of their Food Revolution campaign. Research shows that Tesco has a 51% share of the Inverness grocery market.
Dr Scott said, “It is crucial that politicians in the area unite with local businessmen and the general public to protect the diversity of the Inverness retail industry. Tesco seems to be unsatisfied with its current huge share of the market and is intent on another store which will no doubt put many more smaller retailers at risk. It simply is not acceptable for one very powerful company to prey on a town like this.
“Today, I have written to the Holm Community Council pledging my support and offering to help in any way I can. I have also lodged a formal objection to the planning application. Supermarkets are no bad thing, but they cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over businesses. The future of Inverness should be decided by its citizens and not by the economic might of one large company.”
Greens oppose this development on the grounds that:
- it threatens existing businesses in the area
- it is out of proportion to the needs of the area, being a much larger development than was ever planned for that site
- it will result in much more traffic in the area, on a road that is not designed to cope with that level for traffic
- it will encourage more unsustainable car use
- it is extremely unhealthy for the entire retail sector in Inverness to be dominated (potentially monopolised) by one large company.
The Food Revolution campaign aims to promote:
- safe food — control pesticide use, campaign against GM and encourage organic farming;
- fair food — ensure farmers receive a fair price for their goods, and to help low income households source healthy food;
- good food — promote access to fresh, high quality food, especially in schools and hospitals;
- local food — cut down on food miles and boost farmers’ markets and independent shops thereby preserving jobs in the area.
Download the full Food Revolution campaign document from [obsolete link]