CONCERNS have been raised over plans to turn an empty building in Grange into a shop.

Traders and the leader of the town council have hit out at proposals from an unknown company, to turn the former Royal British Legion (RBL) building into retail space.

“We have loyal customers that will still come to us,” said Stuart Higginson, of Higginson’s Butchers.

“But my concern if it is to be a Tesco Express-type shop is that people will grab things from there because it’s convenient.

“It will change the character of the town.”

Jennifer Fletcher, of Fletcher’s Greengrocers, said: “We don’t know what the shop will be. But I feel sorry for those living nearby if it’s a business that’s going to be open until very late.

“If it’s a shop that has a lot of deliveries that also won’t be great for people in the vicinity.”

The plans for the Kents Bank Road site have been submitted to South Lakeland District Council. The building would be part-demolished and rebuilt to accommodate the new store.

Last month Tesco confirmed it was ‘considering’ a site in Grange but would not say where.

“If Tesco are coming to Grange they are the sort of store that will be completely divisive,” said Town Council leader Tom Harvey.

“I have no doubt some residents will be pleased to see an apparently cheaper store, although it has been proven time and again that they generally aren’t.

“Many others will be dismayed to see us moving down the slippery slope of bland multi-nationals moving in.

“Putting aside those arguments, what concerns me most is how our already clogged streets would cope with another 30 or more deliveries a week from big vehicles, potentially increased traffic from shoppers, the lack of parking and of course the noise impact a supermarket such as this will have outside of the main shopping areas.”

The Gazette contacted Tesco but a store spokesman declined to say if the firm was looking at the RBL building.

The proposals will go before SLDC planners next year.