A CAMPAIGNING group has delivered a petition to council bosses in a bid to get them to halt plans for a massive supermarket.
Stop Tesco Owning Paisley (STOP) said small businesses will be devastated if the retail giant moves into Paisley’s Renfrew Road.
And now STOP wants planners at the Renfrewshire Council to scupper the plans.
However Tesco chiefs say the move will be great for the town and create new jobs – putting Paisley back on the shopping map.
STOP member Margaret Kennedy said: “Buddies are backing the petition because they know that Paisley town centre cannot recover if this giant retail warehouse opens, offering nearly everything town centre shops sell.
“It is not too late to sign our petitions which are on the counters of many town centre shops. Better still, write a letter of objection to the council.”
The objectors to the application for the 136,000 square foot store also claim the supermarket will cause traffic jams.
The STOP campaign won the backing of the Federation of Small Businesses which represents the small independent shops which and the small suppliers who campaigners claims are hit by in the hard bargains struck by the big retailers.
And STOP also claims that trade unionists have already pointed to research showing that far from ‘creating’ jobs, big stores make more shop workers redundant than they take on, and move wealth out of the community.
Renfrewshire Council’s recently- announced investment to boost the town centre with new and refurbished housing and leisure development will be undermined by the Tesco score, the protesters claim.
The Local Plan specifically rules out these kind of large stores being built outside the town centre, they said.
Therefore, if the council did grant planning permission, Tesco’s proposals would have to go before the Scottish Government.
Tesco has repeatedly stated that a new store in Paisley would bring new jobs to the area.
It has also stated that it supports local producers on a large scale.
Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager Jennifer Duncan said: “Tesco has a long-standing commitment to Renfrewshire and Paisley in particular.
“Our aim has always been to improve shopping facilities and play a part in the wider regeneration aspirations for the town centre.
“Our plans, which will create over 600 jobs, are designed to breathe new life into the centre of Paisley by attracting shoppers, offering a wider choice of goods for local people.
“This is an opportunity to rejuvenate the town centre.”