TRADERS in Accrington town centre have spoken out against the plans for a new Tesco superstore.
The supermarket giant has applied for planning permission to build a £30M store on the old SkillCentre site off Eagle Street near its junction with Cannon Street.
The 8,000 square metre store with 600 parking spaces would create around 450 jobs.
Hyndburn Chamber of Trade was meeting last night to consider the plan in detail.
But its spokesman Michael Whewell said before the meeting: "We are against the proposed site. It is right on the edge of the town centre and shoppers would just park there and then drive home.
"That would be detrimental to our businesses. We are fighting for our town centre and the people who want to shop here."
He said the Chamber was, however, interested in the idea of building the Tesco outside the Arndale Centre, as suggested in the recent town centre masterplan.
He explained the masterplan included a scheme to develop a viaduct gateway and suggested the superstore should be built near the Arndale roundabout.
He said: "This would bring shoppers to the town centre and encourage them to stay there and use the existing shops."
Gwen Whelan, of Little Jack’s children’s clothing shop on Blackburn Road, said: "I think this is going to kill the town centre completely. People are not going to come into our shops after shopping at Tesco."
Steve Bramwell, who owns Bramwell’s fish stall on Accrington Market, said: "I don’t think the town can sustain another supermarket, particularly one so far away from the centre itself."
And Shakir Patel of Arndale News, based in the Arndale Centre, said: "I don’t think it is really needed. There is already an Asda and I think it could kill the town centre."
Many retailers feel there are simply too many supermarkets in the town.