A shopkeeper has launched a campaign against a new express supermarket which he fears will kill off his business.
Prakash Gandhi, who runs the Canons Park Newsagents, in Station Parade, Whitchurch Lane has raised concerns over the possibility of a new Tesco supermarket opening.
He fears the new supermarket, which would take up two units in the parade, will severely affect his business.
He said: “We have been here for more than 30 years and if this Tesco was to come it would really hurt our trade.
“It will take business away from us and other small independent shops because people will be able to get everything in one place.
“We have been here for so long and we know all the local people and we provide a personal service.
“If it does come here then I don’t know what will happen to the business and we just don’t know if we will be able to survive.”
Suspicions were raised by traders when planning permission for changes to the site of the proposed store were submitted by a planning consultant firm known for dealing with Tesco applications.
Councillor Husain Akhtar, member for Cannons ward, said: “I have given my support to the traders in Station Parade as I think a new Tesco will hurt their trade.
“It would increase congestion and worsen parking issues around the area.”
No application has been submitted to the council for a new supermarket but a spokesman for Tesco said: “We are looking to open an Express store on Station Parade in Canons Park.
Our Express shops are really popular with customers because they offer a wide range of products in a convenient location.
“We know from experience that our stores give shoppers another reason to stay and shop locally rather than driving elsewhere and in many cases help other local businesses grow.”
He added 20 jobs would be created from a new store and any opening would be subject to planning application and consultation with the nearby community.