Small businesses in Essex have claimed that the opening of a supermarket will finish them off.
Sainsbury’s has confirmed that it is to submit a planning application to expand its store in Hornchurch to accommodate more products under one roof. The plans involve the store expanding on to its current car park and creating a new, underground parking complex.
However, traders in the nearby high street have claimed that the redevelopment will "finish them off" and will kill the historic town centre.
Dawn Mansfield, owner of Say Cheese photographers, told the local press: "At the moment, Sainsbury’s doesn’t have a photographic centre, but they will have once this extension is created.
"We really don’t want it. It will finish us off. We have a petition here being signed by all of our customers."
Graham Williamson, from the National Liberal party, is backing the small business owners’ campaign to get the expansion blocked and has claimed that the town is "one of the few remaining traditional shopping centres" and should not be ruined by a supermarket.
The Competition Commission announced earlier this week that its investigation into the supply of groceries in the UK is set to look closely at the relationship between supermarkets and small businesses on a local level.