Over 100 Pontcanna residents of a city suburb gathered last night to form a spirited campaign against the opening of a supermarket in an area untouched by chain stores.
More than 1,500 signatures had already been collected objecting to plans to create a 2,600sq m ground-floor shop at the former Pontcanna Pine warehouse on Kings Road. Plans have already been approved for 14 flats above it.
Shopkeepers stood before the 116 assembled residents at St Catherine’s Church Hall, Kings Road, to express concerns for their own businesses if a supermarket were to open.
Ana Mitchell, of Wine & Roses in Severn Grove, said: “This type of development will definitely take income away from family-run businesses which have already been affected by the current economic recession.”
Rashmikant Patel, owner of Pontcanna Stores, which has been open for more than 30 years, said: “It will really affect our business as it will offer the same as us and will be over double the size.”
Residents were urged to sign petitions, write letters to Cardiff council, AMs and MPs, publicise the campaign with posters displayed in their cars and house windows, join the campaign’s Facebook page, offer professional skills, donate money to fund independent transport advice, and attend a council planning meeting next month.
One of the green and red posters read: Keep Calm and Carry On Using Our Local Shops, Keep The Heart Of Pontcanna Independent.
Campaign chairman Alan Lane said: “If the council see 10,000 signatures from Riverside, that will wake people up. This is an issue not just here, it’s right across the city and in other areas.”
Mark Drakeford, Labour AM for Cardiff West, said he would write to the Welsh Government and Cardiff council to publicise the issues raised in the meeting, including traffic and parking concerns.
A meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 16 at 7.30pm at the Scout hall to oppose the possible opening of a Tesco One Stop convenience store in the former Ballantynes Wine Merchants on Cathedral Road.