Cardiff-based independent retailer Bhoo Patel has forced supermarket giant Tesco into a rethink over its controversial plans for a new Express development (C-Store, July 14, p7). Following a meeting between Bhoo and his supporters and Colin Holmes, managing director of Tesco Express, the multiple has withdrawn its planning application for a store on Birchgrove Road in the city.

However, Bhoo's celebrations may be short-lived as Tesco is planning on resubmitting its application in three or four weeks' time.

Following the meeting, a spokeswoman for Tesco said: "We'd like to thank Bhoo Patel for helping us to arrange this meeting. We're much clearer now about the concerns local residents have about the traffic pressures around Birchgrove Road, particularly in relation to the school, and we hope to work with the council on this issue so we can ensure the impact of the store is minimised."

An action group set up by Bhoo comprising concerned local residents and fellow independent retailers had organised a petition to the local council with more than 2,000 signatures and was supported by local MP Julie Morgan.

Bhoo, owner of the Philog Stores in the Whitchurch area of Cardiff, said that the revised plans from Tesco were unlikely to satisfy the group's concerns and vowed to fight on.

He added: "The traffic was just one of the issues we raised at the meeting. We are also worried about noise pollution, parking and the impact on local independent retailers."

Once the new application from Tesco has been submitted, Bhoo will have to go through the process of resubmitting his objections.

The Birchgrove Road store was due to open in late summer, however Bhoo fears that it is part of a wider drive to open 20 Tesco Express stores in the Cardiff area in the next 18 months.

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