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Plan for fifth Tesco in Gravesend unites community in protest

PUBLISHED: 13:39 12 August 2011

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»Business owners, councillors and residents are unified in a fight against an application for a fifth Tesco store to be built in less than a five mile radius.

General store owner Bala Arun, 50, has rallied support to fight an application to replace Riverview Park Garage, Whinfell Way, Gravesend with a shopping precinct including a Tesco Express, offices, a pub or bar, take-away and restaurant.

Mr Arun, who runs a Costcutters just metres from the proposed site, collected more than 700 signatures on a petition handed to the council last week.

He said: “If it comes I will have to sell up, but at least I can move. The residents are stuck with it. They will lose a garage they trust and instead get a Tesco they do not need which will cause more traffic and create a nightmare for parking.”

Ramazan Ermis, manager of JD café, opened just eight months ago, in Leander Drive, added: “If they build a cafe or restaurant there I would be very unhappy.”

Tesco already has stores in Valley Drive, less than a mile from Whinfell Way, in the town centre, Perry Street in Northfleet and Whitehill Road.

Colin Bishop, of Riverview Park, said: “The roads around here have become unbearable. We have a dentist and a doctor’s, and they need parking.”

Harry White, 75, of Imperial Drive added: “We don’t need another shop. I would like to see people boycott it if it does get built.”

Tesco was unavailable to comment.

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