Retailers against new supermarket

CONVENIENCE store owners fear a second supermarket within a few hundred yards could put them out of business.

Shopkeepers who say they have have lost half their business since Tesco Express opened in London Road, Kettering, fear a new Co-operative supermarket on the site of a former petrol station 700 yards down the road would finish them off.

The Midlands Co-operative Society has applied to build a store the size of one-and-a-half swimming pools on the site of London Road Motors, formerly a Total petrol station, creating 25 jobs.

Del Patel, who owns Highfield Convenience Store, said: “You know what these large stores can do to smaller retailers. If not shut them down it would definitely make them non-viable to run.”

Joginder Singh, of Broadway Stores, which has lost half its turnover since Tesco opened two years ago, said: “There is no need for it. We are just getting inundated.”

The planning application, which also includes two 860 sq ft units intended as a takeaway and an office or small shop, was due to be decided by May 4, but the highways department raised concerns over getting deliveries on and off site safely.

Planning officers also felt the architecture was too ugly for the area.

If the developer can overcome these issues planning officers may wave the application through without it going before councillors.

A Midlands Co-operative Society spokesman said: “Once complete, as well as creating around 25 new full and part-time jobs, the food store will provide the local community with a wide range of products for their everyday shopping needs.

“The society has fully researched the area and believes there is further scope for additional retailers in the area.”