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Under siege from major supermarkets

SOLIHULL has been placed under siege by supermarket giants, with MP Lorely Burt saying that there must be more protection for smaller businesses.

SOLIHULL has been placed under siege by supermarket giants, with MP Lorely Burt saying that there must be more protection for smaller businesses.

A scheme in Shirley was dismissed last week, but within days Waitrose had lodged revised plans for Knowle.

In Dorridge, the battle against Sainsbury’s is set to come to a head, while a row is also brewing over Morrisons plans for Acocks Green.

Mrs Burt said she had fears that supermarkets were trying to “sell all things to all people”, endangering independent shops.

“Speaking to people on the doorstep, they care passionately about their local shops and what their community looks like,” she said.

“Supermarkets have an important role, but I think the balance needs to be readdressed in favour of the smaller businesses.

“People don’t want a big, posh store coming in and threatening the livelihoods of the smaller shops.”

Mrs Burt hopes that new planning laws will make the impact on existing traders more of a consideration.

Her comments come after plans for a Sainsbury’s convenience store were thrown-out in Shirley

Almost 2,000 people signed a petition against the proposals, which traders in Haslucks Green Road said would squeeze the life out of the existing outlets.

Ann Turner, from Shirley Residents’ Association, said: “Many of the small businesses have been there for many years, but they wouldn’t have stood a chance against a big company like Sainsbury’s.”

Raj Chagger, of Chagger’s Supermarket, said that the small shops had presented a united front against the development.

“It’s a positive result for now, but we’ll have to wait and see if Sainsbury’s appeal,” he said.

In a statement Sainsbury’s said they were “disappointed” by the decision and that the store would have created 25 local jobs.

 

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