BUSINESS owners say they are dreading the potential arrival of a big name convenience store, fearing it will put them out of business and lower the value of their property.

Mike Pimm and David Hastie, owners of Go Local Extra on Victoria Road, fear the worst if plans to build retail units – one said to be a Co-op – go ahead.

The plan is set to be discussed at a Denbighshire County Council planning committee meeting on April 18 in Ruthin.

The proposed site is set on the edge of the residential area, with the court building also located there.

Buildings previously used for administration support to the police, including vehicle storage, have been demolished under a previous approval, leaving behind a vacant ‘brownfield’ site.

Mr Pimm, who has run his store for three years, said: “They [the retail units] might not be there yet, but we know that it could happen and we will be affected when it does.

“We could go out of business. There could be job losses.

“We have a lot invested in our business.

“We may be established, but we heard it could be a large Co-op and our biggest fear is that if people go to the Co-op and then don’t return to us.

“They might say they will and mean to come back but don’t.”

“We are only 200 years away from it, it will be just across the road.”

Calvin Johnston, who owns CJ Swimming Pools supply store on Victoria Road, said the value of his property would fall and added: “The cake shop closed down six months ago. There are empty shops.

“My question to the council is ‘why build this when there are empty shops that need filling?’.

“It is absolutely crazy to put more shops across the road, it just baffles me.”

“The chemist survives through passing trade. The Co-op, if it comes here, it will annihilate the convenience store in price and there is no doubt, they will be gone. Yes the store may be a little more expensive, but I would much prefer to pay a little bit more and have them here. Keep local traders in business. It is giving people a job.”

Cllr Tony Flynn has pledged support to the traders, saying: “The town council has just recently rejected this proposal for retail shops and should be listened to by planning.

“This small piece of land where the police station stood has already had permission for 20 residential properties.

“The residents all around are dreading this plan of a large Co-op with extended opening hours and the problems that will bring to this quiet residential area.

“I feel sorry for all the small shops who are against this but especially for the two businessmen Michael and David, who run and own the existing convenience shop.

"They have done a fantastic job and keep a spotless store. If this plan of a national retailer goes ahead across the road from them it is clear it could put them out of business through no fault of their own.”

Prestatyn Town Council objected to the proposal on the grounds that residents were concerned about retail development and the impact upon highway.

The authority also commented that the potential future viability of nearby shops was a concern.