Jo has slammed Tesco’s attempt to silence local pressure groups by rejecting a public hearing, discussed at a meeting on Tesco’s appeal for planning permission last week.
The Scottish Government Reporter Trevor Croft told the meeting that he was ‘minded’ to have a hearing before the Public Inquiry, scheduled for February 2011, which would consider the impact of the store design. Tesco’s representatives objected to the idea of a hearing, claiming that it would turn into a “shambolic and disorganised” session which would lead to “serious injustice”.
The public hearing, which will take place for two days just before the Inquiry, gives individuals and local organisations an opportunity to express their views on Tesco’s plans.
“I am disappointed, though not entirely surprised, that Tesco are opposed to a public hearing. Tesco is well aware that there is a high level of opposition to their plans among Milngavie residents, and their attitude suggests they are seeking to silence local people.
“I hope that the Reporter’s common sense will prevail and this essential hearing on the store design will go ahead, so that the community’s concerns can be discussed fully and openly. Tesco’s claim that a hearing would be “shambolic and disorganised” is an insult to the dedicated local people who have genuine concerns about Tesco’s massive expansion plans and wish to make their voices heard.”