SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is moving to allay traders’ fears over its new development on Portland following an application to amend a planning condition.

The move comes after the company applied to relax a condition banning the sale of newspapers and magazines at its new site in Easton.

Traders in the area feared relaxing the condition – which also bans the inclusion of a pharmacy or post office – could be the thin end of the wedge and could lead to more changes in the future.

But a Tesco spokesman insisted the company only wants to change the relevant planning condition to allow the sale of publications at its site in Bottomcoombe Quarry masonry works off Paul Road.

The move left some independent traders fearing this could be followed by further applications to relax trading conditions in the future.

The post mistress of the Easton office, Sue Beacock, said she would be ‘very sad’ if her office was forced to shut following the fight last year to save it from closure.

She added: “I’m pretty disgusted by the fact that Tesco’s now gone back on what it had agreed.

“Customers have been coming back to the post office after fighting to save it but it has been slow.

“The last thing we need now is for Tesco to come in and stomp all over that.”

Keith Lapworth, who has run Sam’s Gifts and Household Store with his wife Lyn since December, said: “The feedback I’ve been getting from customers is that they’re horrified by this proposed change.

“If people can eventually go into Tesco and get everything under one roof that they want where is that going to leave local traders?”

Tophill East councillor David Hawkins confirmed Tesco is trying to reverse a previously agreed planning condition not to allow the sale of newspapers and magazines at the site.

He added: “I am only voicing the fears that I have heard from local people and Tesco did previously give an undertaking that it would not want any of the things listed under that particular planning condition, which they are now trying to change.”

A spokesman for Tesco confirmed that the company applied in late September to amend condition five of the planning agreement to allow the sale of newspapers and magazines at the store.

The spokesman added that other facilities banned under the condition, such as a pharmacy or post office, will not be included in the amendment if it is successful.

A spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council confirmed that Tesco’s application to amend the condition is still pending consideration.