NEARLY 100 people could be thrown out of work if plans to build a supermarket at Kearsley go ahead, businesses claim.

Tenants fear 92 jobs will go if they are kicked off the site to make way for the planned superstore.

The 26 small firms, mainly family transport companies and spin off businesses such as garages, believe it will be virtually impossible to find other suitable spots in Bolton.

They do not believe councillors were given a full picture of the jobs situation before approving outline planning permission for developers Morbaine Ltd to build the supermarket.

Councillors spoke in favour of the development on Old Hall Street, claiming it would improve the area and create work.

But there is widespread unease on the site and haulage boss Ken Harvey, the largest employer with 29 workers, said: "Ninety-two breadwinners stand to lose their jobs if this goes ahead.

"How many jobs does a supermarket create? I bet there will about 10 decent, full-time jobs and the rest will be part-time.

"This site is ideal for us because it is right on the motorway network. Trucks can get anywhere in the country without passing a single house house locally.

"People say a supermarket will reduce traffic but what about deliveries and customers coming in their cars?"

Another haulage boss, Ken Ellis, said: "If this goes ahead where are we going to go? My business will be in real jeopardy if I have to move.

"I am concerned that I might have to close down and put people out of work."

Three companies own the different parts of the proposed supermarket site.

Tenants on the Hipwood and Grundy and Meteor haulage sites believe Bolton councillors are backing the idea because it means getting rid of an unpopular scrapyard on a third piece of land.

One tenant said: "The council is bending over backwards because it wants to get rid of the scrapyard."

But he said the council should have made the scrapyard owner clean up the site years ago.

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