A SURVEY of Babbacombe traders has revealed overwhelming opposition to a new Morrisons store in Babbacombe Road.
The Babbacombe and St Marychurch traders' group has compiled the survey, covering 41 out of a total of 53 businesses, ahead of a public inquiry to decide whether the plans can go ahead.
An application by developers Babbacombe Holdings Ltd to convert the former DIY store into a supermarket was turned down by Torbay's planning committee.
It has resubmitted a varied application and has taken the original decision to appeal.
It will go before a planning inspector in Torquay on Tuesday, October 8.
The findings of the survey of traders in the Ilsham Road and Reddenhill Road areas show that of the 82 per cent who responded, 86 per cent are strongly against the Morrisons building and three in favour.
It found that the traders employ around 350 people, and the majority claim it would have a major impact on their businesses.
Sixteen claim they would lose staff, and 11 would close down altogether, with an estimated loss of more than 100 local jobs, of which more than half are full time.
There would also be a knock-on effect for 165 local suppliers, they claim.
They estimated that Wellswood would lose between 15 and 30 per cent of trade and Babbacombe would lose up to 50 per cent.
Tony Clark, the traders' organiser, said: "The local centres of Wellswood and Babbacombe are important for the whole of the communities in these areas, particularly with the older age profile.
"They would become completely unviable as shopping areas and we would be left with closed and boarded-up businesses, while Morrisons takes its profits out of the area."
But Katie Hill, spokesman for Babbacombe Holdings Ltd, says: "We stand by our application which was strongly supported by local residents and a number of traders, and look forward to making our case to the planning inspector."