Tesco is attempting to block the opening of an Aldi store in Stroud, Gloucestershire by stating that it would harm independent retailers, despite having several large format stores in the area.

Stroud News and Journal reports that a planning consultant hired by the supermarket, Luke Raistrick, sent a letter to the council stating: “The expected trade diversion from Stroud town centre would lead to a significant adverse impact” on “Stroud, Nailsworth and Stonehouse town centres.”

However, independent retailers, residents and the local paper criticised Tesco for using independent shops to protect its own interested by blocking the new Aldi.

Angela Powell, of nearby independent convenience store Hill Shop & Videos, told Retail Express: “I don’t think the new Aldi would have any impact on us. They are just being greedy.”

“Make no mistake, this is simply a case of Tesco trying to protect its own interests and avoid having a new rival in Stroud for supermarket customers” says Stroud News and Journal editor Michael Purton.

Stroud already has a Sainsbury’s, four Tesco stores, a Co-Op, a Waitrose and an Iceland.

Several residents pointed out that when Tesco first moved into the town it stated that their arrival would have no impact on the town centre.

It’s not the first instance of doubts over the multiple’s claims of helping independent retailers, the supermarket previously claimed that its merger with Booker would “Bring benefits for consumers, independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers and colleagues.” However Retail Express revealed that both Tesco and Booker told the CMA that it expects its symbol retailers to take the hit from any price increases caused by the merger.