CAMPAIGNERS want chiefs from a supermarket giant to speak with residents ahead of a planned store opening.

Tesco is set to bring an Express shop to Warley Hill, Warley, inside the old Alexandra pub, also formerly known as the Warley Tavern.

Planning permission is not required to transform the building into a shop, but campaigners who are against the idea, have asked for a public meeting to be held so opinions can be voiced.

The call has been spearheaded by Brentwood councillors William Lloyd, Independent for Warley, and Karen Chilvers, Lib Dem for Brentwood West.

Mr Lloyd, who has sent a joint letter with Ms Chilvers to Tesco’s boss about the meeting, said the views of residents and local traders should be reflected upon.

He said: “I do believe competition is good, but I do have a problem with Tesco’s slow monopoly of taking over empty shop units like it does.

“This would be the fourth Tesco store in Brentwood and this will hit local traders who are finding it difficult in the current financial climate.

“I don’t feel putting the store in Warley would be the best thing for the area, but because they of the way planning operates, it doesn’t need to apply to the council.

“I still think residents ‘views should still be heard though. “I don’t think we should throw the bath water out, but let’s at least try to make the best of a bad situation.”

Tesco said it does intend to listen to public opinion, adding it would prefer to hold their own exhibition.

A spokeswoman said: “What we have done in the past is hold a drop in session during the day, to allow people to see the plans on boards and give them the chance to speak to us one-on-one.

“We did this for the store about to open in Hutton and may do it for Warley too.”

The store in Warley would join other Tescos in The Broadway, Shenfield, and at the Esso petrol station, in London Road, Brentwood, in the town.

Another Express outlet on the junction of Hanging Hill Lane and Hutton Drive is due to open in February.

A total of 20 jobs will be created with the Warley shop.