Competition from a proposed new Co-op convenience store on Watnall Road, Hucknall, could ‘destroy’ existing small businesses there, it has been claimed.
The claims were made during a public meeting at Watnall Road Community Centre on Tuesday night.
The meeting was held to discuss a revised planning application by the Central England Co-operative Society for the store on the site of the former Flying Bedstead pub.
One man, who is a painter and decorator, told the packed meeting: “It would be very unfair on people who have worked hard to build up their trade and depend on loyal customers.”
ButChristine Sarris,Ashfield District Council’s planning and building control manager, said: “Under the law, this is not a factor which we can take into account.”
Coun Lachlan Morrison, a Labour member for Hucknall Central ward on Ashfield District Council, said: “I share the frustration expressed but our hands are tied.”
The original plans were submitted towards the end of last year but they were withdrawn by the applicant because of highway issues.
David Prichard, a planning consultant for the Co-op, told the meeting that an amendment had been made to reduce the width of the road as a way of deterring customers from parking there instead oF the store car park.
He added that ‘tactile paving’ was also proposed to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road.
Judith Storey, of the Hope Lea Project -- which is just opposite the site of the proposed store -- said a parking problem already made it difficult to drop off people with learning difficulties who meet there.
Helen Turnbull (80) said she was in favour of the plans because the store would benefit people in wheelchairs. She also thought a pedestrian crossing was needed.
Comments for or against the proposals should be submitted to Ashfield Council by Wednesday 11th June.
Details of the plans can be obtained by visiting the council website at www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk