VILLAGERS will go into battle against a proposed supermarket in Greasby tonight – with a warning that the 28 jobs it would create could lead to redundancies in local stores.
Before Christmas Greene King brewery submitted a revised planning application to build a Sainsbury’s Local and a Vets 4 Pets surgery on The Red Cat pub car park.
Developers say 28 full and part-time jobs will created, along with “a wave of investment in the village” if it is agreed.
But campaigners argue that any jobs created will be offset by potential redundancies from local traders if business is taken away.
Greene King also claim 85% of food shopping is done outside Greasby village.
A public meeting will take place tonight at Greasby Community Centre from 7pm.
John Smith, chairman of Greasby Community Association, said there was widespread concern in the village.
Mr Smith told the News: “Although some amendments have been made to the earlier application, local opinion remains firmly resistant to the possibility of Sainsbury’s and a Vets4Pets outlet in the village.
“There is grave concern about the impact on the current traders, along with anxiety about traffic issues, disquiet about the design of the proposed buildings, and their very close proximity to the existing library and children’s centre.
“A very adequate Co-operative store is located close to the site, along with a butcher, greengrocer, post office and other outlets likely to be adversely affected by the proposed Sainsbury’s.
“Claims from the developers of new jobs need to be set against the likely loss of existing jobs.
“Claims also that 85% of residents shop outside Greasby must be open to question without the evidence being provided.”
A spokesman from Greene King said: “It’s an important investment on offer for Greasby, creating a thriving pub and convenient retail offer.
“With the government’s focus to encourage shoppers to invest locally and not shop out of town, this is a shot in the arm for local business.”
Around 5,000 furious residents have signed a petition against the supermarket plan – saying it would drive trade away from local shops and destroy Greasby’s village atmosphere.
Comments on the plans must be submitted to Wirral Council’s planning department by January 11.
Stephen Lewis, of Steve Lewis Butchers on Greasby Road, said: “To say 28 jobs will be created is a silly statement to make as it equates to 13 full time jobs.
“It will have an adverse effect on jobs elsewhere in the village.
“There is only so much to go around so anything created will be destroyed by other jobs being lost in village shops.
“The store will be built in its own little space away from the village, all we will see is the back and side of the store as it points away from the village.”
Greasby Councillor Tony Cox said: “I will be joining residents and traders in their campaign against this latest planning application.
“We need to do all we can to support our local shopping centres.
“It is clear that a supermarket would harm Greasby's local economy, making it less vibrant and diverse.
“I'd encourage all residents and business owners to make their views known on this latest application.”