A POPULAR bakery could be shunted out to make way for a mini market.

Miles Bakery Shop, has been based in Sunny Bank Road, Unsworth, since 1993, but its lease is up and the landlord wants to knock the building down.

More than 500 neighbours have signed a petition opposing the idea, fearing it could be come a Tesco store.

Bakery owner Lynda Miles said she came back from holiday last week to find out about the proposal.

North Hold Group, in Bury New Road, Prestwich, applied to Bury Council for permission to demolish the building and erect a retail unit served by 16 parking spaces. Mrs Miles said: “My landlord mentioned something about it to me a few weeks ago. We employ 10 people part time and one full time. Their livelihoods are at stake.

“Our company is one of a dying breed. We make everything fresh each day and our sandwiches don’t have packaging.”

In the application, Tesco Express is identified as the client of North Hold Group. But a Tesco spokeswoman said Tesco was not formally involved at this stage. She added: “Wherever we open Tesco Express stores across the country, they are very popular. We hope to bring quality fresh food and hope to create 20 jobs to any area where we open a Tesco Express store.”

Sunnybank resident Roy Smith said: “We have already lost a butchers and a greengrocers, if permission is granted, this would then lower the tone of the area.”

Residents can attend a public meeting at Sunnybank Primary School, in Hathaway Road, tonight at 7.30pm. The deadlne for public views to the council is Wednesday. Bury planning control committee is likely to make a decision on November 16.

The Bury Times was unable to contact the North Hold Group.