Hove retailers have expressed disappointment that the Southern Co-operative has been granted permission to open a store in the area.
Ranjan Limbachia of Western Newsagents, directly opposite the site on Western Road in Hove, said that this could be the end of her business. “I opened the first convenience store in the area 25 years ago and now all these big supermarkets have moved in,” she said. “There’s just not enough business to go around for everyone.”
Romani Latif who runs Brunswick Food and Wine, also on Western Road, said that the new store would be the death knell for his business saying that “we all might as well shut our doors and just go home”.
Ranjan and other retailers in the area set up a petition opposing the Southern Co-op and had collected almost 1,000 signatures from members of the public supporting their cause. The retailers also had support from Brighton and Hove Bus Company who said that delivery trucks would cause traffic congestion on the road.
Despite this support the City Council approved the application for the store and granted it an alcohol license on condition that there are no advertisements for alcohol in the windows or outside the shop and that it cannot sell beers, lagers or ciders with an ABV of more than 6%.
A Southern Co-op spokesman also said that it spoke to the Highways Agency and that it was satisfied that the store would have no impact on bus routes on that road.