A PETITION signed by 2,000 people who oppose plans to turn an Areley Kings pub into a Tesco Express store has been handed to Stourport's mayor.

Resident Rob Lloyd delivered the petition to Ken Henderson ahead of Tuesday's Stourport Town Council meeting, during which members unanimously voted to recommended Wyre Forest District Council's planning committee reject Tesco's application.

Neighbours have met several times since it emerged Tesco had taken a lease from Punch Taverns, who own Squirrel pub, Areley Common and planned to use the building for the convenience store.

Tesco says if proposals are approved, the Express will create 20 jobs and "co-exist and complement the existing independent traders". Residents who have signed the petition, however, have pointed to transport, parking and noise concerns and fear businesses such as Londis Pantry Stores, Taylor's Newsagent and the pharmacy would lose out.

Resident Andrew Booton, who chaired one of the three public meetings to discuss the plans, said: “There is a tangible feeling among residents that Areley Kings’ village community is under serious threat from a development of this size and scope.

"Areley Common is already reduced to a single lane in places since residents have no choice but to park on the road outside their houses."

He added daily deliveries, carried out using large lorries, would put the road, which has a weight limit, under "intolerable pressure".

A decision on Tesco's application is due to be made next Tuesday at 6pm at Wyre Forest House by the district council's 16-member planning committee. The Shuttle understands three public speakers will address the councillors before they vote - a member of the public, a representative of Stourport Town Council and Labour councillor Jamie Shaw, for Wyre Forest District Council.

Areley Common resident Mark Bywater added: “This is not a NIMBY campaign and we are not anti Tesco but we must ensure that planners understand and consider fully the blight on our lives which a store of this size in this location will create.”