A MEETING has been set up for residents concerned about plans that a supermarket giant is to open up a new store in Ore village.
Tesco has plans to convert the Oddfellows Arms, in Old London Road, into one of its Express stores.
But more than 700 people have signed a petition against the company’s proposals, fearing it will harm existing traders.
Councillor Michael Wincott, local ward councillor for Ore, who is leading the campaign, said: “This massive multinational corporation seems to show little regard for local shop owners who have spent decades building up their stores. Things are tight and shop owners are struggling to keep going.
“We already have a number of convenience stores in Ore village so if Tesco comes, I’m certain we’ll see closures.
“If you agree or even if you don’t, please come along to this meeting. This is your chance to find out more and ask questions about parking, loading and noise. It’s important that local residents have a say in this issue.”
The meeting will be chaired by councillor Richard Street. Simon Petar, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, is also attending the event next Thursday (December 13) and taking part in a Q&A session.
It will be held at the Ore Centre, Old London Road, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Anyone who cannot attend but wants a comment read out can ring Cllr Wincott on 01424 431701 or email email@example.com.
Tesco, which would not need planning permission to turn the Oddfellows Arms into a shop, said the store would create around 20 jobs and would open next autumn.
The pub, dating back more than 100 years, closed last year.
It plans to submit an application to the council in due course for minor works, such as alterations to the shopfront.
Mr Petar said Tesco’s Express stores tended to be ‘very popular’ with customers and local communities.
He added: “We find our stores help rejuvenate and revitalise shopping areas as we bring more people out to shop.”
Mr Petar said interest in the jobs the shop will create had already been received by Tesco ahead of its planned opening.