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Tesco’s Big Society squashes Sheringham

Anyone looking for a neat, dispiriting example of the way powerful retail conglomerates work in modern Britain might turn their eyes to the north Norfolk coast where this week, after a 14 year – yes, 14 year – campaign, the might of Tesco has finally bullied and cajoled its way to getting planning permission  for a supermarket outside the town of Sheringham

So this is what the Big Society means in reality – in matters involving small communities, big money will eventually always win.

Sincere commiserations should go to the local shop owners and to anyone in the area who values the life, variety and jobs that those small businesses bring to a community.

Almost the scariest aspect of the story was the crazed, quasi-religious excitement of the rather odd assortment of the Tesco enthusiasts following the planning decision this week. It reminded me of the South Park episode in which the townspeople of South Park are turned into wide-eyed consumer zombies after a supermarket is opened outside the town.

No wonder Tesco buys up potential sites around the country and is prepared to play the long game, using the its massive power and financial muscle in its  war of attrition against local shops. The juggernaut rumbles on.

Anyone concerned about the effect of Tesco on towns and communities across the country should support the Tescopoly campaign.