TRADERS in Sheffield have mounted opposition against plans for a new Asda supermarket near Crystal Peaks after city planners gave the scheme their backing.
Hermes, owners of Crystal Peaks shopping centre, have formally objected to the proposed development on the site of the Home Decor Innovations site off Beighton Road East.
They say the development would hit the centre’s business by up to 21 per cent.
Shopkeepers and market traders at Crystal Peaks held an emergency meeting to discuss the proposals.
Beverley Kipling, from The Director’s Cut hairdressers and nail salon, said: “Crystal Peaks is very much a community shopping centre. People come in here every day.
“If this Asda gets built, so many of our businesses could have to close down - I don’t think we would be here after two years. For small businesses, it is hard work every day as it is.
“We at the market offer a more personal service, and people really know their jobs. We have been here for 12 years now, and I’m cutting the hair of the kids of people who came in themselves as children.
“This would really tear apart the community.”
Michael Hanley, from Peaks Fisheries, said: “It’s going to vastly reduce the amount of people that come into Crystal Peaks. A survey said business would be reduced by 25 per cent in three years.
“The government says it is trying to support small businesses, but this will curtail that, and we’ll all have to shut down.
“Why they want to saturate the area with another supermarket, when there is already a Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, I don’t know.
“They wouldn’t just lose the retail outlets, the whole market could close. And they say it will create new jobs. It is not creating new jobs, just replacing those that will be lost here.”
But Sheffield Council planning officers have advised councillors to grant permission on Monday.
A total of 170 residents have submitted letters of support arguing the predicted 450 new jobs are badly needed and it would be more convenient for shoppers.
But 54 objections have been received, warning of more traffic congestion.
Council officers admit an Asda will hit Crystal Peaks - especially the centre’s flagship Sainsbury’s - but say it should be approved ‘on balance’.
A report to councillors said: “The proposal will not have a harmful impact on existing or proposed investment in existing centres. However, it will have an impact on Sainsbury’s, which is the anchor store at Crystal Peaks.
“This will result in Sainsbury’s trading below the current average level for its stores. However Crystal Peaks is a healthy centre and it is considered on balance the impact would not be sufficient to seriously impact the centre as a whole.”