Almost 600 people attended a meeting last night (Wednesday) to discuss Tesco’s plans for a new Express store in Goring.
Residents have formed an action group called Stop Tesco in Goring and are calling on the supermarket giant to back down.
The village hall was packed and hundreds more people spilled on to the streets outside under umbrellas. A loudspeaker system was set up so that people outside could hear the debate.
Tesco’s representatives answered questions and there was also a presentation by Rob Jones, founder of the action group, which called the meeting.
A vote was taken and most of the 300 people inside opposed the scheme. Twelve abstained and just three were in favour.
About 1,300 people have signed the action group’s petition, which was circulated online and among local shops and businesses.
Goring’s independent traders have weighed into the debate, saying a Tesco in the village would destroy their livelihoods. Many are displaying posters and banners in their windows bearing the slogan “Stop Tesco in Goring”.
Residents are also displaying the posters on their front doors and gates and some have been attached to lampposts.
Tesco wants to open a convenience store at the old Queen’s Arms pub in Reading Road, which shut in November.
Its owner Greene King sold the freehold to Ascot Developments, a company based in the British Virgin Islands, for £852,128.
Land Registry records show that Tesco then bought the leasehold for an undisclosed sum.
A full report of the meeting will appear in next week’s Henley Standard.