UP to 1,000 people have signed petitions against plans to build a Tesco store on land at Fratton Park.
Shops in Eastney Road, Portsmouth, don’t want a supermarket near them because it could take away their trade and force them to close.
Sue Manning and her husband Andrew, who run Portsmouth Fruit & Flower Ltd and Portsmouth Hardware and Pets Supplies, have sent out two petitions that asks the council to save the local shops and address how traffic would be affected.
Mrs Manning said: ‘It would kill the local shops.
‘We are like a little community.
‘There are other areas like that such as Albert Road and Tangier Road.
‘They are made up of family-run businesses which are trying to make a living.
‘If you look around Portsmouth, all the little areas are failing, and a lot of it is down to the fact they’ve got a huge supermarket next to them.’
Stuart Robinson, who owns the land, has put together the proposals with his development company Point Estates and the retail giant.
As reported, a petrol station, car park and social area for supporters could also be created near the stadium. Mrs Manning said she wasn’t against the club and its ambitions – but said something could be built instead that takes families into account instead.
Stephen Dean, owner of Bransbury Park Butchers, said: ‘Everyone has a right to be worried about it. We have got enough supermarkets.
‘It just ends up downgrading everything and we don’t want to lose the little shops.
‘We have got a very, very loyal bunch of customers here and I think we will be OK – but you just don’t know.
‘The traffic will put people off.
‘I have been a Pompey fan all my life but I don’t support this move. What is Tesco going to do for Pompey?
‘It’s all about money – and money talks unfortunately.’
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who represents the area, doesn’t think independent shops will be harmed because they’re popular and offer something different.
The petitions will be presented before a future planning committee meeting which will decide whether the development goes ahead.