A cobbler does not fear the competition that Timpson would bring if it opens next to a Petersfield supermarket.

But Steve White still hopes that planners put the boot into the controversial plan, as he’s more worried about the impact it could have on neighbouring traders.

Nearly a thousand people have signed an online petition to Save The Petersfield Cobbler in reaction to plans to open a Timpson next to Tesco Causeway.

The petition was launched by Steve’s daughter Katie White amid concerns about the impact its arrival could have on her father’s business.

She said: “My dad is a very proud man and he still has the very first pound he took when his shop opened.

“Having this pod at Tesco could really harm the shop because of everything that Timpson offers. Its not just cobbling that my dad offers, it’s key cutting and engraving, fixing car fobs and there’s so much more.

“I’m just trying to help in any way I can. When I get to 1,000 signatures I’m going to the planning guys at East Hampshire District Council to let them know a lot of people are against it.”

Mr White opened The Petersfield Cobbler 27 years ago on May 11, 1996, and now runs the Chapel Street shop with his son, Lewis.

Although he is extremely grateful for petitioners and the support shown since the Timpson application, he is pragmatic about their possible arrival.

However, he has big concerns about the impact it could have on his Chapel Street neighbours as Timpson offers services the likes of Liphook Dry Cleaners, Petersfield Photographic and Phone Ambulance provide.

He said: “Competition? I’m all for it, but what Timpson could potentially do is affect three or four independent businesses.

“They do mobile phone repairs, dry cleaning, cut keys, develop photos – there’s shops around me which offer those services and I worry about them.”

His wife, Moyra, fears that people will decide against coming to Chapel Street and other independent town centre traders if they can get everything during a quick visit to Tesco. 

A handful of objections have been lodged with planners at the time of writing with the application likely to be determined by the South Downs National Park Authority within the next fortnight.