giant Tesco has been told it cannot build a proposed new superstore on the outskirts of
The issue has been running for some time in the town with local traders objecting to
the plans, and was the subject of a public enquiry in January.
At that enquiry it was decided that the matter should be referred to the Secretary of
State, and Warwickshire County Councils development liaison officer Jasbir Kaur said
his decision was clear.
"The Secretary of State looked at the matter and decided that the Tesco store
should not go ahead for a few different reasons.
"Before this issue got to this stage everybody had been invited to make themselves
heard, and there was a lot of strong feeling on both sides.
"People who ran smaller stores in the town were very anxious that the out-of-town
development should not happen because it could damage trade, but alternatively local
people who had to travel to Leamington or Banbury to get to a superstore were in
Tesco was looking to build just off the Southam bypass and Kaur believes it was this
out-of-town location that swung the decision.
"Having the store on the outskirts would have encouraged people to travel by car
instead of walking and government policy is clearly against this.
"The Secretary of State also highlighted the fact that there are alternative sites
in the centre of Southam where such a development could be located, and felt these should
be looked at first."
The news comes as a blow to some people in Southam who feel it currently has limited
facilities, including Joyce Weaver who works in the town.
"When we heard about the store everybody at our office was pleased because at the
moment there are a lot of things that you cannot get in Southam and that can be really
"Southam has become increasingly busy during the day but the town is not
reflecting that in its facilities."