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Anger over supermarket turf war

20 May 09 14:26 GMT

Plans by two supermarket giants to redevelop an area of north London has sparked anger among residents and businesses in the area.

Barnet Council has received 1,500 objections to plans by Asda to build a store in Albert Road, New Barnet.

Tesco, meanwhile, wants to build a store on land opposite to that site.

Residents' campaigner John Dix said the situation created uncertainty in the local housing market and stalled investment in the community.

The area already has a Sainsbury's store.

Mr Dix, of the Save New Barnet Campaign, said: "Nobody can make clear decisions in terms of planning. People don't know whether they can sell their houses or not while the blight goes on and this war goes on between the two supermarkets.

"It is really preventing anything taking place in New Barnet to reinvigorate it."

'Big money'

Meanwhile, Marlon Medway works at a bike shop which is on one of the sites which may be redeveloped.

He said: "I cannot see the point of three huge supermarkets on one street.

"But these guys have got big money and you can't fight them. Well , you can try."

Tesco described its application - which is due to be submitted later in the year - as a "simplified smaller scheme".

In a statement it said: "Tesco has listened to local residents and responded to a year of local consultation with brand new smaller proposals for New Barnet's town centre. A planning application will be submitted in the summer."

Meanwhile, a statement issued by Asda said: "Asda has spent many years working on its plans for a new store in New Barnet, liaising with numerous stakeholders including the council, local people and businesses.

"Asda's £40m investment will transform a large, under-utilised, heavily contaminated brownfield site providing major benefits to local shoppers, home-buyers and job seekers in the area."

Asda's application will be considered by Barnet council's planning leaders in the next few weeks.

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