A GROUP opposed to a planned new Tesco store has stepped up a gear and secured more than 600 signatures to submit to planning chiefs.

Tesco plans to build a new store on the former Carpets of Worth factory site in Stourport which, many residents fear, will add to congestion and threaten local trade.

Eddie King, a works manager, of Cutty Sark Drive, said protesters "blitzed" Stourport town centre with posters, petitions and leaflets last weekend, collecting 200 signatures on Saturday alone.

The group has also set up a website to co-ordinate its activities and has submitted an e-petition to 10 Downing Street.

John Holden, Conservative Stourport town councillor, has been acting as an "adviser" for the group, although he remained impartial on the issue of a new Tesco store.

He said: "One or two people have suggested Tesco should do more for the town. Tesco is aware of these suggestions and they have been left for them to think about."

Last night, Stourport Town Council voted to defer consideration of the planning application by Tesco.

Jamie Shaw, Labour Town councillor, said it would be "irresponsible" to comment without the views of Wyre Forest district council planners or the response of the Highways Agency.

Mr King said: "I don't know which way it is going to go at the moment but we remain hopeful and we are going to put up a good fight."

The group will hold another public meeting tomorrow night, at 8pm, at the Old Rose and Crown Pub in Worcester Road, Stourport.