RESIDENTS concerned over proposals to build a Tesco superstore have called for a public meeting so a democratic decision can be made.
Although a planning application has not yet been submitted, plans for a 45,000 sq ft store on Queen Street, Great Harwood, have been unveiled to the public.
A survey carried out at a recent exhibition revealed that 92 per cent of the people who responded were in favour of the development.
Only 47 per cent of those said they currently shopped locally but 91 per cent said that they would stay in Great Harwood if the Tesco store was built.
At the latest meeting of Great Harwood Area Council this week one resident said: "There needs to be a public meeting to discuss this.
"We need someone on the council to explain the aspects of it so we can make a proper judgement.
"A planning committee consists of relatively few people making a decision without any local knowledge about the mood of the town."
Members of the public were informed that several councillors on the area council committee were also on the Planning Committee and they were therefore legally unable to comment.
Several people said they had heard rumours that Tesco had already bought the land which is currently occupied by rubber mouldings company Metflex.
But a Tesco spokesman told the Observer that Hunterswalk is the landowner and Tesco had not, and was unlikely to, buy the land. If the application was approved, Tesco would operate as a tenant.
Councillor David Mason urged members of the public not to jump the gun and added: "At the moment there is no planning application. We are challenging something that isn't even on paper yet."
The Tesco store would create 150 job opportunities and priority would be given to local people.
However, the town's shopkeepers are concerned about the plans which they believe would have a detrimental effect on trade.