MORE than 570 people have voiced their opposition to Tesco’s plans to create a new store in Oxford.

Earlier this month, the supermarket giant submitted a planning application to demolish the former Friar pub in Marston and build a new two-storey shop.

A previous plan by Tesco to develop the site was thrown out by Oxford City Council’s north-east area committee in April 2009.

So far 574 people have signed a petition against the plan amid fears a Tesco store could put the local Costcutters – now the home of Marston’s post office – out of business.

Croft Road resident and community campaigner Mick Haines, who started the petition, said: “People are afraid of losing their post office and are saying the store will threaten the community shops around here. They seem to be covering everywhere in the city with Tesco’s and they’re a threat to local shops.

“People also think it will bring too many cars and there will be nowhere for them to park.”

Last month, Tesco announced it plans to open a store in St Aldate’s, at the former Solus Lighting Shop.

Two months earlier, the supermarket chain opened a new Tesco Express in the West Way Shopping Centre in Botley.

The supermarket also owns the derelict Fox and Hounds pub in Abingdon Road.

Marston resident Anthony Baker said: “My only concern would be for the post office. I use the post office there and if it were to close I would have to go all the way to Headington to send post.”

Tesco says the new store could create up to 25 jobs.

Tesco spokesman Melanie Chiswell said: “We know our stores bring more shoppers to an area and the post office may have new customers coming through their doors.

“The post office offers a unique service and it’s in their and our interest that they remain a thriving business.

“For a Tesco Express store, about 70 to 80 per cent of custom comes from people who walk in from 500 metres up to 1km, so they don’t generate a significant amount of extra traffic.”

Oxford Civic Society has submitted comments on the planning application, calling for the pub to be turned into much-needed housing instead.

Chairman Tony Joyce said: “If this was going to go in an area with no convenience stores and no traffic problems, people would be pleased to see it, but I don’t think that is the case.

“If a pub there isn’t viable then the most crying need in the city is for housing.”

Residents have until next Friday to submit their comments to the city council about the scheme.