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Battle lines drawn against the great Tesco takeover

PUBLISHED: 10:50 14 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:27 07 September 2010

By Ed Thomas BATTLELINES have been drawn to stop Tesco tightening its retail grip across Marylebone and St John s Wood. Smaller traders have predicted ruin when the supermarket giant opens up yet another outlet in Lisson Grove. The 3,000 square foot Tesc

By Ed Thomas

BATTLELINES have been drawn to stop Tesco tightening its retail grip across Marylebone and St John's Wood.

Smaller traders have predicted ruin when the supermarket giant opens up yet another outlet in Lisson Grove.

The 3,000 square foot Tesco Express planned for the vacant building next to the JobCentre would mean a staggering 11 stores in the square mile between Marylebone High Street and Maida Vale.

"Another Tesco will kill off little shops like ours," said Mohammad Zafar, owner of a food store on Lisson Grove.

"There's a Tesco very close by on Church Street and near Baker Street tube station. There's just no need for another one in between.

"It's just selfish. The company seems intent on killing off little stores and it's not fair. I will be talking to other shop owners around here and we will be grouping together to make objections."

Asan Qureshi, who owns the Marylebone Food Store opposite the proposed site for the new Tesco Express, said: "This will kill our business. There are already too many Tesco stores in the area.

"The problem is they are always popular and when they open up people will go there to do all their shopping. It's not fair. We just cannot compete so we might have to close down. We are nothing compared to Tesco. It makes me very sad."

Letters have been sent out to local residents and business people, outlining the Tesco Express plans for near the corner of Hayes Place.

The supermarket is inviting feedback before a planning application is submitted at the end of the month.

There are already Tesco stores on Circus Road in St John's Wood, in Maida Vale, Clifton Road, Church Street, Melcombe Street, Marylebone High Street, Baker Street, West End Quay in the Paddington Basin and two outlets on Queensway.

John Falding, chairman of the St Marylebone Society, said there will also be problems with noise from lorries early in the morning and late at night.

"We will be considering this planning application on its merits, but with Tesco there are usually very few," he said.

"We have received many residents' complaints about noise from deliveries to the store on Melcombe Street, and we will be looking to address such complaints.

"As a society we are against the 'Tesco-isation' of this country."

A spokeswoman for the supermarket said the plan is to regenerate a vacant, brownfield site, which formerly housed an antiques business.

"We anticipate that no deliveries will be made before 8am and certainly not after 11pm," she added.

"We would avoid, also, school pick-up times. We will need about 25 people to work in the new Express and we will recruit locally and provide training and career opportunities to all employees."

Westminster Council said a planning application is yet to be received.

"If we should receive such an application, adjoining occupiers and residents will be encouraged to write into the council with their views," said a spokesman.

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