In 2012 Tesco announced plans to build a store on the edge of Romsey on land to be leased from the Broadlands Estate. Tesco wants to develop a six-acre site known as the “Fairground Field” south of the bypass. Tesco say they have identified a need for a mid-range supermarket in Romsey, which is already served by up-market Waitrose and cut-price chain Aldi.
A report by Hampshire highway officers says they were “unable to provide a positive recommendation” for the scheme. It believes the current roads would be unsuitable to take the amount and type of traffic generated by such a store.
A campaign group was set up and gained more than 6,500 signatures on a petition against the store.
In February 2013 Test Valley Borough Council dismissed claims that the consultants employed to assess the effects of a proposed Tesco store for Romsey have too close a relationship with the retail giants. The consultants, Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) had shown that plans for a 35,000 sq ft Tesco on the Broadlands Estate, just south of the bypass, was unlikely to harm trade in the town centre.