INDEPENDENT traders have hit out after learning three more supermarket giants plan to open up in Headington.

Retailers in London Road have spoken of “major concerns” about the impact the stores would have on the area and said the chains would “completely change the landscape”.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco last night confirmed they were in talks about moving to separate sites in London Road.

It comes less than a week after Morrisons announced plans for a store on the site of the former Blockbuster shop, also in London Road.

Concerns have been raised about the impact the new shops would have on independent traders in the area, which already has Waitrose and Co-operative stores.

Tesco has said it is in talks about opening a store but wouldn’t say where in the street, while Sainsbury’s confirmed it wanted to move into 98 London Road, currently occupied by Peacocks.

Mukesh Amin, who owns Crown News in London Road, said: “I am worried about what will happen. I will probably have to close. I run a newsagents and the new shops will all sell papers. I don’t know what I am going to do.”

Paul Birtles, owner of The Garden, a florist also in London Road, said: “I think Morrisons would be welcome, but if you’re talking about Sainsbury’s and Tesco moving in too, that’s going to completely change the landscape.

“I don’t worry about the new stores interfering with our trade because I think we’re very good at what we do, but I would worry about the impact on rent if they move in.

“I fear that we will see a similar thing to what happened in Summertown. As soon as M&S moved in, the rents went up the same day.”

Peacocks went into administration in January 2012, but many of its stores, including the one in Headington, were saved when the firm was sold to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

The retailer last night refused to comment on the bid from Sainsbury’s or confirm its plans for the future of the store.

According to census data, the Headington council ward area had a population of 6,098 in 2011. This was expected to rise to 6,161 this year, an increase of 1.03 per cent, and a further 1.15 per cent increase to 6,232 is expected by 2015.

The shops in Headington also serve people who work and live in nearby areas with similar populations, like Barton, where 885 new homes could be built by 2015 as part of the Barton West development.

The news comes after a review was launched to save the identity of the city’s outlying shopping areas.

It was set up after Headington councillor Ruth Wilkinson said she feared for the future of areas such as Summertown, Cowley Road, Headington and Templars Square.

Ms Wilkinson said: “I don’t know where Tesco is expecting to go, I can’t think of a site it would want to occupy.

“I was very surprised when I heard about Sainsbury’s, and I’m even more surprised that Tesco is interested too. I can’t see them all opening here.

“Headington does support a lot of the jobs in Oxford, and a lot of people work at the hospitals, but I don’t know if that will be enough to support all three.

“Parking is a major concern, because we have only the car park next to Waitrose and a small one in St Leonard’s Road, and this will create pressure.”

It is feared traders could find themselves in a similar situation to business owners in Cowley Road, who in 2010 were hit by the opening of two Sainsbury’s stores – one in The Plain and another in Cowley Road itself.

Aziz Rahman, who owns Aziz Restaurant in Cowley Road, said: “Obviously we weren’t affected because we run a restaurant, but it was bad for the grocery and corner shops.”

Sainsbury’s regional acquisitions manager Robin Ockendon said: “We can confirm that we have recently agreed to occupy 98 London Road and are in the early stage of the planning process.

“Our proposals would ensure a long term tenant for the shop, contributing to the vibrancy of Headington.”

Tesco spokesman Beth Greenhouse said: “We are in discussions at the moment for something on London Road, but I don’t have any details at the moment.”

Morrisons said last week it had applied to Oxford City Council for an alcohol licence.