Hundreds of residents have joined forces in a bid to stop an Old Town pub being turned into a Sainsbury’s.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd has backed the campaign which has seen a Facebook group set up called Keep Albert Parade Special which has more than 500 members.
A public meeting was held and residents have gone on to set up an Albert Parade Action Committee along with the facebook group and website: www.albertparade.co.uk.
Residents are concerned that The Drive pub becoming a Sainsbury’s will see an increase in traffic and damage the local parade which is home to many independent traders.
Under existing planning laws, a change of use is not required to convert a pub to a supermarket.
Mr Lloyd, who has a meeting with Sainsbury’s in Parliament next week, said, “There was a real sense of anger at the public meeting that Sainsbury’s could even contemplate moving in was palpable.
“Local residents love Albert Parade.
“It is almost unique in that it still has all the independent traders which used to be common but have now almost disappeared, with a long established greengrocer, butcher, baker, fishmonger, a pet shop, chemist, hairdresser, coffee shop and so much more.
“Albert Parade really us special and as an Old Town resident myself, I and the whole cross-community group are determined to stop Sainsbury’s damaging our much loved parade.”
Brian Sheppard, the greengrocer on the parade, added, “Albert Parade is a lovely community.
“We all know and support each other and it would be a crying shame to allow Sainsbury’s to just march in and destroy 100 years of history.”