By-election may turn into new war over Tesco's plans
A BY-ELECTION to choose a Brixham town councillor could be turned into a new war over Tesco's supermarket plans for the port.
Only two candidates have put forward their names to contest the Berry Head with Furzeham seat left vacant after Vic Ellery stepped down when he became the director of the charity Brixham Does Care.
Lib Dem Torbay councillor Andrew Baldrey and Rosemary Clarke (both pictured), one of the founders of the Brixham Residents Against a Tesco Superstore action group, will now battle it out on November 15.
Cllr Baldrey said he was standing to try to 'bring more sanity into the council'.
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He said: "There is a town council which is costing rate payers. It needs better direction.
"A minority of people trying to push in a sensible direction are consistently being thwarted."
He said he feared the vote would be turned into a referendum on the Tesco proposals.
He said: "The pro-regeneration wing of Brixham needs to win out because otherwise Brixham will be condemned to nothing happening.
"We need to recognise the benefits of a major development in town which would bring jobs, an extra 200 car parking spaces and new shopping space."
Mrs Clarke confirmed she would stand as a politically independent candidate and under the BRATS banner.
Mrs Clarke said: "This (the Tesco scheme) is the single most important issue for Brixham over the next 20 years.
"Standing for election is the best way to give a voice to the local residents and businesses that oppose the giant superstore coming to the centre of Brixham, destroying its unique character and sucking the lifeblood out of the local economy.
"This is such an important issue and is above party politics.
"I will fight passionately for an alternative and more sustainable future for Brixham that builds on our unique and historic character and our strong community and small local shops that makes Brixham so special for both residents and visitors alike."
Last December, Tesco held a public exhibition in the fishing port so residents and traders could have their say on their scheme for the central car park.
The mixed-use project, which was being finalised by Albourne Property on behalf of Tesco, included a new supermarket, 300 car parking spaces, new small retail units and a small number of high-quality town houses.
The design was criticised by many in the port.
It is now understood the two companies have come up with another design which is expected to go on show during a public exhibition before Christmas.