MORE than 100 people packed the Townsend Hall in Shipston to support the newly-launched Stop the Supermarket campaign.

The meeting, organised by Transition Shipston, attracted so many people that some were turned away at the door while others were forced to stand in the entrance.

Members of the town council, district councillors, business representatives and residents attended the meeting on Tuesday evening which was called to discuss ways to campaign against plans for a new supermarket.

People in support of the campaign were encouraged to write letters objecting to the plans and to join an action group.

Ainscough Strategic Land (ASL) has submitted an outline application to Stratford District Council for a supermarket along with a petrol station on land north of the Campden Road.

The proposals also include a dedicated extra-care retirement development of 80 self-contained cottages, 50 apartments and up to 54 family houses.

David Passingham of Transition Shipston said the development in Shipston would be “detrimental to their beautiful and historic” town centre and trade would suffer.

“There are a lot of local businesses that would suffer and go broke if a supermarket came in,” he said.

Jonathan Gullis, district councillor for Shipston, also pledged his support for the anti-supermarket campaign.

He said: “Supermarkets kill off towns. Banbury was a thriving town then supermarkets took over and the High Street is now dead.”

Kate King, who owns Ivy Heart and who set up the Shipston loyalty card, said: “I have lived here for 28 years and I object to the supermarket development. We have a lot of independents providing specific services. If people stop coming into our town we’re going to suffer.”

Shipston MP Nadhim Zahawi was unable to attend the meeting but his senior researcher Simon Mcintyre read out a letter in support of the campaign.

However, not all Shipston residents are against the plans with some people at the meeting saying they were in favour of a new supermarket as they “couldn’t afford to shop in Shipston”.

Mayor Paul Rathkey, who chaired the meeting, said that another meeting for people to air their views would be held on Thursday, March 22, due to the large turnout. For details on the application visit stratford.gov.uk and follow the links for planning.