Lib Dems push ahead to secure Mill Road's future

February 20, 2009 2:38 PM
Howarth Mill Road

David Howarth working to safeguard Mill Road

Cambridge Liberal Democrats are pushing ahead to create the country's first Independent Business Zone in the city's Mill Road after Tesco withdrew its second appeal for a store there.

They are organising a public meeting on Thursday, March 5 in the Salvation Army Community Centre in Mill Road to discuss ideas for a Mill Road Community Plan.

The meeting will be chaired by Cambridge MP David Howarth who has fought to keep Tesco out of Mill Road and welcomed news that the appeal has been withdrawn.

He said: "Mill Road is a unique, lively, diverse and friendly neighbourhood treasured by local people and visitors alike. The present economic climate makes it more important than ever to safeguard Mill Road's local independent shops."

The plan has been drawn up by Romsey and Petersfield Councillors.

Romsey county councillor Kilian Bourke said: "This will be an opportunity for all those interested in the future of Mill Road to attend this public meeting to discuss the plans."

Welcoming the news that Tesco had withdrawn its appeal, Romsey councillor, Catherine Smart, said: "I am absolutely delighted. It would appear common sense has prevailed and hopefully Tesco has realised that Mill Road does not want or need its store.

"Mill Road is uniquely special and we must strive to keep it that way. This new store would have been a disaster for the area bringing noise, pollution and heavy lorries."

Petersfield county councillor, Nichola Harrison said: "The residents and traders of Mill Road were adamant from the outset that this store would mean bad news, not only putting livelihoods at risk but damaging Mill Road's appeal as a street with a diverse range of independent local shops.

"This decision by Tesco is what they have hoped and waited for. Let's hope that this is an end to a project which would have spelled disaster for this unique area of the city."

More details of the Independent Business Zone plan for Mill Road are available at www.kilianbourke.com

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