AS THE reality of the closure of the McColl’s newsagent and Post Office on Portland Road draws closer, I find myself once again dumbfounded by the sheer lack of forward thinking shown by our so-called town planners, who thought it would be good for the community to have a Tesco store installed in place of the petrol station.

Portland Road had a vibrant range of local and chain stores, which adequately serviced the needs of the local community.

At a stroke the introduction of Tesco has put all of those shops at risk, to the benefit of a corporate giant with no interest in the care of the local area let alone its ruthless approach taken towards its suppliers.

Tesco can and will undercut its competition and I suggest it will not be long before its presence impacts other shops in the area.

Which begs the question why any responsible town planning department would approve such a development?

It fills no niche (apart from car parking) and anyone desperate for Tesco shopping just needed to travel a little further to the Lanehouse store less than a mile away.

And the impact of any closures can have much wider impact than first apparent.

McColl’s delivers papers widely to the area.

An end to that service can potentially mean people don’t bother anymore and suddenly the Dorset Echo has lost hundreds of customers in an era where printed media is already struggling to survive!

We are frequently told that we need to champion independent local business and so far Weymouth has just about managed to avoid the fate of so many seaside towns.

But it won’t take much careless development like this to destroy our town.

We might not have much influence over the poor planning of town planners, but we can use our consumer power to make our feelings known.

The attraction of convenience in this Amazon age is huge, but I urge anybody shopping on Portland Road to really consider what and where they buy from before they step into Tesco.

M Toft

Hillcrest Road