Page last updated at 06:08 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 07:08 UK

Tesco plan 'may hit small shops'

A Tesco store (library picture)
Tesco said public consultation would take place before a new store opened

Supermarket chain Tesco has refuted claims a planned new store in Powys could jeopardise small independent shops.

The company plans to build on the site of Machynlleth livestock market, and said the development would offer more choice to the public.

But Machynlleth Chamber of Trade said Tesco could radically alter plans to make the town more sustainable.

It added that its network of small shops could suffer too.

The chamber's chairman Kelvin Jenkins said there were mixed feelings in the town about the development.

At present, some people travel 18 miles (28.9km) to shop at a supermarket in Aberystwyth, even though Machynlleth has two smaller food stores.

'Self-sufficiency'

"We are trying for transit town status, which is a move towards self-sufficiency and sustainability. Having Tesco here could jeopardise that," said Mr Jenkins.

"We're also trying to become a slow food town, which aims to lower food miles. Tesco would radically change that."

Mr Jenkins claimed visitors to Machynlleth liked its range of independent shops, and the fact that it was untouched by many of the high street chain stores.

A spokesman for Tesco said there would be a period of public consultation if plans for a supermarket went ahead.

"We would like people in Machynlleth to shop at the supermarket and in the town if the plans went ahead," he added.

"The supermarket would give people, who currently have to travel to Aberystwyth to shop, more choice."


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