A proposal to build a third Sainsbury’s store within a mile radius has been criticised.

Anderson Group hopes to build the store, along with flats, on a disused car park between The Plume of Feathers and the Shell petrol station in Church Hill, Loughton.

The area is currently served by several convenience stores and three existing supermarkets within a mile’s walk, two of which are Sainsbury’s.

Raj Patel, owner of Newsbox newsagents, which has been in Church Hill for 27 years, said: “It will draw in our customers and take some of our business.

“The big companies are always able to offer better prices and undercut us.

“There is absolutely no need for one because there are already two Sainsbury’s within walking distance and a Morrisons.”

Loughton Town Council has exhibited the plans, which also include six flats and 16 parking spaces, six weeks ago.

Traders and residents have been invited to two preliminary meetings, the most recent of which was held at Loughton Methodist Church on May 8.

Taz Moustafa, who has owned Mosaic Cafe in Golding’s Hill for 10 years, said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea for local businesses.

“It would take trade from me with cheap sandwiches and meal deals which I can’t compete with.

“Parking will be even worse than it is already with extra traffic coming to the area and delivery lorries causing more mayhem.”

The father of two added: “I will do anything I have to in order to stop it from coming.”

Steve Short, of nearby Sedley Rise, has written to Epping Forest District Council planning officers and plans to campaign against the proposal.

He said: “The store would add to congestion and we are already served by existing retailers.”

“The site has to be developed but there is no need for another Sainsbury’s.”

A planning application is yet to be lodged.

Anderson Group has been contacted for a response.