MORE than 200 residents crammed into Neston Civic Hall to hear a council decision about a controversial supermarket proposal.
Following a heated debate, borough councillors agreed to sell off land in Neston town centre to Sainsbury’s.
The vote was cast at a special full council meeting, held on Thursday night. Of the 200-plus residents, 15 spoke publicly about the issue.
A council statement says: ‘The planned supermarket and renovation of Neston town centre has been designed to reverse the decline of the market town by bringing more shoppers into the area.
‘A planning application from Sainsbury’s should be with us by Christmas and is subject to public consultation.’
Talking after the meeting, borough Cllr Gareth Anderson (Con, Ledsham) said: ‘Speaker after speaker from the public and the Conservative benches reminded councillors how a 2,200 signature petition had been gathered against the supermarket proposals.
‘They also spoke of how the council’s own variety of research methods had overwhelmingly rejected the plans for a Sainsbury’s in Neston town centre.
‘Despite such overwhelming opposition, Labour and LibDem councillors voted in favour of the scheme, and against a Conservative proposal to re-evaluate the options.’
His fellow Conservative councillors also expressed their disappointment with the result.
Cllr Scott Mealor (Little Neston) said: ‘I feel this is totally unsatisfactory and can’t understand the mentality of any councillor from the Neston area voting to turn Neston into a minor-Ellesmere Port.’
An ‘outraged’ Cllr Kay Loch (Burton & Ness) said: ‘For Ellesmere Port councillors to determine the future of Neston in the way they have done is just shocking.’
And Cllr Nils Anderson (Parkgate) said: ‘This was decided by a majority within the Labour group who do not live in this area and I think that is a travesty.’
To see some of these reactions, people can visit www.youtube.com/epnconservatives