Local people say ‘No to Tesco’ after plans are announced for a possible Tesco Express store in the village.

Tesco are hoping to open an Express store in part of the Sunshine Leisure amusement arcades.Tesco are hoping to open an Express store in part of the Sunshine Leisure amusement arcades.

BUSINESSES in Westward Ho! have been rallying together in protest after it was announced a Tesco Express could be opening in the village.

Last month the superstore announced it was in talks with the Sunshine Leisure amusement arcade in Golf Links Road to open a store in some of its surplus space.

But many local businesses have been up in arms, claiming it would be the destruction of the seaside resort and its independent traders.

Bev Coombe, who owns Delica Devon in Nelson Road, has started a 'Say No to Tesco' campaign with posters and petitions around the village.

"Summer is the only busy time and if Tesco are right on the beach people won't walk up to this part of the village," she said.

"We have so many little independent businesses such as the butchers and the bakers which is why people love it here.

"People have been coming in signing the petition against the store and even holiday makers have said they are against it.

"I've even had people who don't live in the village contact me as well to get posters to put in their car.

"We will fight this until the very end; Tesco is not wanted here."

Bev started the petition on Wednesday and has collected dozens of signatures with some shops asking for new sheets for people to sign already.

She hopes to hand the petitions into Torridge District Council if a planning application is submitted.

Mark Stewart and Darren Phillips, of F Heard's Butchers in Nelson Road, said they had been overwhelmed by the support from locals and holiday makers.

"People who haven't come in for a while have now come back to buy things and show their support," said Mark.

"It will affect the holiday trade and people won't come up to this part of the village any more."

Tesco is hoping to submit a planning application for the store, which it says will employ 20 people, in the autumn with the intention to open next year.