Ashtead Tesco petition signed by 45 businesses
TRADERS have submitted a petition opposing plans for a new Tesco store in Ashtead.
A total of 45 business have signed, including 24 in The Street, 11 in Craddocks Parade and 10 in Barnett Wood Lane.
The petition was created by Roger Palmer, owner of Palmer's Deli Cafe, Tyrone Patterson, manager of Greenwise Greengrocers, and John Bates, owner of Ashtead Fisheries.
They are concerned that the Ashtead Village Traders' Association (AVTA), which they say only represents 50 per cent of businesses in The Street, has given the impression that all traders support the plans.
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The covering letter says: "We are writing to balance the views expressed by the chairman of the AVTA. Unfortunately a large number of traders in The Street do not support the revised scheme put forward by Tesco."
Speaking to the Advertiser, Mr Palmer was keen to emphasise the petition was not opposing a Tesco itself, but simply the size of the proposed store.
He said Metro stores normally sell clothing and electrical goods as well as food, something he believes would damage Ashtead's village environment.
However, Tesco has said it is very unlikely that this Metro store will sell clothing and electrical goods.
Mr Palmer said: "The wrong sort of Tesco could have a profound effect on shopping in Ashtead.
"The AVTA only represent those people in The Street but I just think that people forget about the overall effect on the village."
But AVTA chairman Bryan Elphick, owner of Elphick Estate Agents, said he has only ever expressed the majority view of his members.
He said: "In terms of any meetings or communications the AVTA have between themselves, the main body of opinion is in favour and I am surprised and disappointed to hear that there seems to be people still drumming up opposition to it because many I speak to are very much of the opposite view.
"I think it's totally irrelevant that people in Craddocks Avenue should have any say in The Street."
A Tesco spokesman said: "Our proposed Metro will help rejuvenate The Street by bringing more shoppers into the area.
"Many retailers recognise this and our proposals are becoming increasingly popular with Ashtead residents and retailers."
The petition has been submitted to Mole Valley District Council, which will rule on the plan.