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Supermarket giant eyes new store in Lewes Road, Brighton
A supermarket giant has plans for a new store – four years after people power forced a similar project to be scrapped.
Tesco has applied for an alcohol licence for a potential new shop at 190-194 Lewes Road in Brighton, a site which includes former furniture discount store Furniture Hut.
Plans to redevelop a nearby community garden with housing and shops, including the supermarket, was the subject of a fervent resistance campaign in 2010.
Community protesters were eventually evicted from the former Esso garage following a yearlong campaign but the mooted Tesco Express store never materialised.
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Rival Morrisons opened a store on the site in December with strict licensing conditions preventing it from displaying alcohol at the front of the store or promoting drink deals. Now an application has been filed with Brighton and Hove City Council for a licence to sell alcohol at a nearby site from 8am until 11pm daily.
Residents are concerned about the proposed return of the supermarket to Lewes Road and that another shop selling alcohol could be opened on a 750-metre stretch which already has more than a dozen alcohol retailers.
Maureen Winder, chairwoman of the Triangle Community Group, said Lewes Road residents were becoming the victims of a battleground between supermarkets.
She said there would be a certain amount of displeasure with the news and there could still be resentment with Tesco.
She added: “Lewes Road was just beginning to get a better balance with cafes and smaller shops, barbers, computer shops and things that were making Lewes Road feel good again and now we have another licence application.”
Local Green councillor Bill Randall said: “There are more than enough places to get cheap booze in Lewes Road already and we don’t want any more.
It is a street that is already saturated and sozzled with booze outlets.”
Community garden cofounder Duncan Blinkhorn said: “I would be surprised if there was the same level of concern because there were particular circumstances having previously been the garden at that site.
“But there are general concerns about the impact on independent traders that we really value in the area and I think there is a need for big retail organisations to reassure people that they are not there to undermine these local independent retailers and businesses.”
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