Campaigners against plans to build a supermarket on the site of an Old Town pub delivered a 4,300 plus signature petition to Sainsbury’s headquarters this week.
A group of supporters from the ‘Keep Albert Parade Special’ campaign headed to London on Wednesday to show their opposition to a Sainsbury’s opening at the site of the Drive Pub.
Residents are concerned that opening a supermarket in the area would have a detrimental affect on the Albert Parade shops opposite.
The campaign has been led by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who was among those who travelled to London to hand over the petition.
He said, “What makes Albert Parade special is that it is almost unique across the whole South East in that it retains the key four traditional shops – a butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer and baker – and we believe that if Sainsbury’s push ahead with opening a new store just off Albert Parade, these wonderful, independent shops could face a devastating knock-on effect.
“Albert Parade could become like any other identikit row of shops, losing its traditional flair, and that would be such a shame. It’s also unnecessary – Albert Parade is a lovely, popular and highly successful parade, so we’re asking Sainsbury’s senior managers – ‘do the right thing here for our community; surely not everything in life should be about profit’.”
Cliff Heath, second generation Albert Parade butcher added, “Heath’s Butchers was founded by my father in Albert Parade many decades ago.
“We’re proud to serve the residents of Old Town and we are proud to retain the old-fashioned high quality values as an award-winning local butcher. It’s time these massive supermarket Goliaths recognised that just because they can, doesn’t mean they should! Hands off Albert Parade!”
The team went armed with sausages, loaves of bread, a three foot barracuda and other goods to reflect that the shops the parade boasts.
Old Town Councillor Carolyn Heaps added, “Our customers have been fantastically supportive since Sainsbury’s announced they were building a supermarket on the site of the Drive Pub.
“With more than 4,000 signatures collected just from Old Town, it demonstrates the strength of feeling we have to keep Albert Parade special.”