SHIRLEY shopkeepers fear that their livelihoods will be destroyed if Sainsbury’s get permission to open a new store.
The supermarket giant has caused a storm of controversy, with proposals to open a premises in Haslucks Green Road.
But the traders, based on the existing shopping parade, say the scheme would steal all their customers.
Raj Chaggers, of Chaggers Supermarket, said: “You talk about building a community, this would destroy one.
“Sainsbury’s are planning on selling everything: alcohol, groceries, they even want their own deli.
“I think it will hit everyone on the parade because there will be parking problems as well. This road is already a nightmare; it’s a main bus route, used by Dickens Heath residents and lorries at the nearby builders’ yard.”
The supermarket, which has been in the area 23 years, is one of a dozen smaller shops that would be affected.
Amanda Lucas, from Amanda’s hairdressers, said: “This would turn the area into a ghost-town. We’ve been here 30 years, but within 18 months we could see five or six businesses close down.”
Popular shops like J.Hughes Butchers and Flower Fayre, a local florists, also have concerns.
Trevor Eames, from Solihull Ratepayers Association, said there was immense local opposition to the proposals. “We sent out a newsletter to 2000 local homes and we’ve had 400 replies back from people who are against this,” he said. “Sainsbury’s seem pretty confident they’ll get planning permission because they’ve already applied for a liquor licence.”
The 4000sq ft store would be built on the former Forrest Transformers site and open seven days a week, 7am-11pm. The application will be considered by Solihull Council’s planning committee later this year.