Two hundred and thirty two local independent retailers have written letters to Stockport Council objecting to a Tesco Extra store that has been open for almost 18 months despite exceeding its planning consent by more than 18,000 sq ft.
Retailers have been encouraged to formalise their complaints over the Tesco Extra at Portwood in Stockport by their wholesaler Parfetts Cash Carry, whose Stockport depot and head office are within a couple of miles of the store.
Parfetts has been applying constant pressure to the authorities following the supermarket opening in November 2004 despite it breaching its permitted size by almost 20%.
The supermarket group has now lodged a revised plan after it was recently forced to cordon off part of the area in question, taking it out of use.
Parfetts Cash Carry md Steve Parfett said: “The response we have had from retailers has been fantastic, and all the evidence is that our customers are concerned over the power of the supermarkets and that they want something done about it.
“Ever since the store opened almost 18 months ago it seems that the council has been unwilling to take any strong action against Tesco for fear of taking on the supermarket giant and its legal team. If any of our retailers were to breach planning regulations in a similar manner they would almost certainly be made to remedy the situation.”
Parfett personally delivered all 232 letters, together with his own detailed letter of objection, to the council.
He added: “Our retailers face enough pressure having to compete with the multiples, without them blatantly breaching planning permission and then being seen to get away with it. These letters demonstrate the depth of feeling and that it is not something the council can dismiss lightly.”
Stockport Council set an initial target date of April 13 to respond to the application.