More than 800 shoppers have signed a petition to block plans to turn a car showroom into a Sainsbury’s Local.

Sainsbury’s wants to open a store on the site of a Mini car dealership in the Avenue, Tadworth, when the dealer relocates to Burgh Heath.

The supermarket chain has submitted a planning application to change the use of the showroom, create a car park and servicing area and install a shopfront, ATM and plant machinery.

Butcher Chris Chapman, who started the petition, said the proposed supermarket would hit trade at village shops which sell groceries, meat, fish, bread and other produce.

He said: "I think it could have very significant consequences. Some of the shops are struggling with the retail environment as it is at the moment. The lack of parking is a big problem."

Mr Chapman, from Chapman and Son Butchers in Cross Road, said about 100 people had attended a public meeting he organised last month and a handful of shops had collected signatures in-store.

He said: "I decided I needed to take it upon myself to raise public awareness. It’s something that could have a very significant effect on the village."

More than 200 people have submitted objections to the planning application to Reigate and Banstead Council.

The application’s covering letter said the store would have 14 parking spaces, which it describes as "sufficient", and would be open between 7am and 11pm.

It said: "The site represents a good opportunity to improve the retail offer in Tadworth, improving local choice and competition for residents of the village whilst having no significant adverse impact on existing shopping facilities."

A Sainsbury’s spokesman they are responding to “local concerns” through dialogue with key stakeholder groups and the council.

He said: “Currently a significant proportion of shopping expenditure is lost to surrounding areas, meaning the majority of the store’s trade would be new trade in Tadworth, which would help to encourage more people to use other shops and services nearby as part of a linked shopping trip.”

See the plans, with reference 14/01344/CU, at