Protesters gathered outside Sainsbury's in South Ruislip over the company's attempt to block a £100million development.
Around 25 members of the public waved placards and banners reading 'Stop Sainsbury's Bullying' outside the supermarket in Long Lane yesterday (Wednesday, January 28).
They chanted slogans attacking the retailer's decision to launch a judicial review of the process through which the development of the nearby former dairy site won planning permission.
One of the organisers was Guy Woodward, managing director of Ivy Facilities Limited, which has been contracted to work on the project.
Mr Woodward, 55, of Hartland Drive, South Ruislip, who worked at the dairy for 14 years as facilities manager, said the development and its construction would create much-needed jobs for local people.
He added: “There is a hate for Sainsbury's and their blocking. The story was the same from everybody: We need to have competition. Sainsbury's have had it too good for too long.
“These people are now really informed about the process, which has now been interfered with again.”
Retired stenographer Pamela Bowrah, 71, of Queens Walk, South Ruislip, who has lived in the area since 1966, added: “We feel that the Arla site needs to go ahead now, without delay, and Sainsbury's are doing just that. The area badly needs regeneration and Sainsbury's are stopping that for their own profit.”
The plans involve building a 40,000sq ft Asda supermarket, a cinema complex, five restaurants, 14 houses and 118 flats at the derelict Arla Foods site in Victoria Road.
Hillingdon Council gave planning permission for the project last year. The decision was upheld by both the mayor of London and the government's planning minister and work had been scheduled to start in March.
But Sainsbury's now wants to challenge 'a number' of issues it says were not properly addressed during the planning process. Citygrove Securities plc, the firm behind the plans, says the legal process could delay the project by up to a year, or potentially even stop it from going ahead altogether.
The supermarket giant was given planning permission to double the size of its South Ruislip store in 2006 and hopes to receive further permission to build a temporary store for while demolition and rebuilding work is being carried out.
Postman Jim Field, who attended the protest, said: “They want to have their cake and eat it. They had the opportunity in 2006 to redevelop their store. They chose not to do that and we just really need something else in this area.”
Mr Field, 55, of Rosemary Avenue, South Harrow, added: “We support the development. We want facilities for local people, for local youngsters to have somewhere to go, because at the moment they haven't got anything.”
Citygrove wants residents to write to Sainsbury's bosses complaining. Nearly 400 have already signed an online petition, according to the developer.
For details, visit www.citygrovesouthruislip.com.