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Proposed Tesco supermarket 'could limit retail regeneration' say traders

Plans for a new Tesco supermarket in Carryduff could "limit retail regeneration" in the south Belfast suburb, it has been claimed.

An objection has been lodged by the Northern Ireland Retail Trade Association (NIRTA) to the proposed 15,000 sq foot supermarket, beside Edgar Avenue, off the Saintfield Road.

Glyn Roberts, NIRTA chief executive, said "there is a great deal of concern" from its members in Carryduff about the new supermarket.

"Carryduff certainly needs new retailers, but Tesco will just limit retail regeneration in the area," he said. "You have to put this in context; Tesco already has a huge store at Newtownbreda, and there are also shops at nearby Forestside, such as M&S and Sainsburys, so there are a lot of major stores in the area already. We are concerned about the impact this will have."

However, if the application is granted, Tesco aims to provide around 110 permanent jobs, as well as up to 200 construction positions during the building of the new store.

Colin Hampsey, corporate affairs manager for Tesco in Northern Ireland, said: "Our proposed new store would see a multi-million pound investment in the area, which could provide a much-needed amenity for the community, as residents would be encouraged to shop locally, as opposed to carrying out their grocery shopping elsewhere."

Mr Hampsey said the 15,000 sq foot store is "a smaller environmental store" with "environmental features incorporated into the build".

It works out at a quarter of the size of the Newtownbreda store.

"We believe that the store, which would be able to offer new and exciting competitively-priced products and services, could complement the offerings of the other shops in Carryduff. It would also provide convenient parking for visitors to the area, helping to encourage them to stay and shop with other retailers."

The supermarket giant said it is committed to open and meaningful consultation with the local community.