The Save Our Leek campaign was launched at a public meeting in February 2010 to oppose applications from Sainsbury's and Tesco. About 100 shopkeepers, residents and conservationists attended the meeting.
Reasons for refusal of Tesco's plans included concerns that the Tesco store would draw trade away from the town centre and could lead to an increase in the number of empty shops. Planners maintained that Tesco had not fully explored alternative town centre locations.
In January 2011 more than 2,500 residents voted in a referendum over highways alterations included in the £40 million development by Sainsbury's. A total of 2,109 people voted against the proposals, while 583 were in favour. Opponents hope the 'no' vote will fuel their campaign for a public inquiry into the complete superstore package, which already has planning permission.