Campaigners from Sherborne’s No Thanks Tesco group were joined by Oliver Letwin MP on Friday in presenting a petition to the leader of West Dorset District Council.  

The petition received 11,324 signatures in protest at Tesco’s plans for a 28,000sq ft supermarket on the edge of Sherborne – which has a population of less than 10,000.

The campaigners collected the signatures through an online petition promoted through social media and a paper petition promoted by high street retailers. The campaign was only launched in December after Tesco went public with the plans.

West Dorset MP and Conservative minister Oliver Letwin has argued that the proposals go against the principles of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

No Thanks Tesco has now launched a petition calling for the removal of Tesco from the Future High Street Forum.

“We believe it is inappropriate that Tesco is a government advisory on the Future High Streets Forum - a position offering it high-level influence over the future vitality and viability of Britain’s town centre economies,” it says. 

“We ask [minister] Mark Prisk MP to help us limit Tesco’s power over our high streets and take steps to remove it from the Forum.”