A Tesco superstore replacing the Swan shopping centre at Yardley will be significantly larger than first proposed, fuelling fears that independent local shops could be forced out of business.

Plans lodged with Birmingham City Council show the retail giant wants to build a 107,000 square foot store - about 25 per cent bigger than Tesco initially said it required.

The change has annoyed residents groups, who have complained that the proposed store is too large and will take trade from local shops, particularly at the nearby Yew Tree shopping centre. They are also concerned at Tesco's refusal to replace the Swan's indoor market hall, which is to be demolished.

The increase in size will enable Tesco to sell a larger proportion of non-food items.

Most of the existing Swan Centre will be demolished, if planning permission is granted. Tesco intend to build a superstore and 23 smaller retail units.

The size of the scheme in total is almost 200,000 square feet, which will make the completed project larger than the Swan centre.

Tesco, which has already negotiated with the city council to buy the prime site alongside the A45, is offering to contribute #3.3 million to help improve local sports grounds and for road improvements.

The council planning committee, which will consider the proposal on Thursday, has received 33 letters of objection from residents. The objectors fear Tesco will allow large national retail chains to dominate the new shopping centre and that small independent operators will be squeezed out.

They are also complaining about the loss of the Oaklands recreation ground, which will be swallowed up by the new development.

The Yardley scheme is the latest attempt by Tesco to increase its presence in Birmingham.

Tesco is also seeking planning permission for a 60,000 square foot superstore less than two miles away from the Swan, on the A4040 at Hodge Hill. The scheme involves building on playing fields and is being resisted by residents groups.

Both the Yardley and Hodge Hill schemes potentially enable the council to cash in with lucrative land deals, by selling sites to Tesco.

Council planning officer David Wells is recommending the go-ahead for the Yardley Tesco. He said the store would enhance, rather than damage the Swan centre.

Mr Wells added: "Tesco have produced a retail statement that concludes there will be no adverse impact on any existing centre and I concur with this view.

"I agree there will be some knock-on effect to other stores from loss of trade, in particular the Somerfield at South Yardley. However, as this store is not well integrated with the Swan Centre, I do not consider there would be any adverse consequences."

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