Can David the Dormouse overcome the supermarket goliath?

Some potential good news for foodies everywhere.

Over in Wadebridge, on the Camel in North Cornwall, Morrisons is one of several supermarkets circling like vultures and attempting to build a massive out-of-town shopping centre. This has got local foodies and businesses helluva angry, as they might say.

Part of Morrisons’ plan would see it build a car park on what is now Wadebridge Town FC’s home ground. So the club is using the money it would get from the supermarket to build a new home at Bodieve.

Except, erm, they might not. A plan for the new ground to be discussed and voted on by Cornwall Council’s planning committee on Thursday is being recommended for refusal – because the new site might be home to the humble dormouse. This tiny rodent – not the edible species beloved by the Romans – is protected by EU law.

Now it is up to elected councillors to make a decision one way or another on Thursday at 5pm, and I know from experience that their decision-making process doesn’t always follow a logical progression. But there is a chance at least that Morrisons might see their plans scuppered if it does fail to be allowed to proceed.

Wadebridge does already have a good selection of supermarkets. A Morrisons and Sainsburys (also circling) added to the current massive Tesco and Lidl would mean it was oversubscribed for its size – Bodmin is 6 miles away and has a Morrisons, Sainsburys and Asda. Padstow is about the same distance and has a Tesco.

I’m all for free trade, but it should also be fair trade. Wadebridge faces becoming a ghost town like Bodmin.

We shall see what the council decides on Thursday.

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