A 4,000-signature petition is being delivered to Sainsbury’s HQ on Wednesday by local traders determined to stop the supermarket giant opening in Albert Parade.
Sainsbury’s hopes to open a store on the site of the Drive Pub, Old Town, but local businesses and residents believe it will be the death knell for local shops.
Albert Parade currently boasts a butcher’s, greengrocer’s, fishmonger’s and bakery - and a campaign group set up to battle against the supermarket’s plan fears these traditional stores could be forced to shut up shop.
Local MP Stephen Lloyd will be leading a group of local residents and traders up to the company’s headquarters in Holborn, London, on October 30.
The campaign has seen huge support from around Eastbourne, with more than 4,000 signatures already on the petition – and the backing of Queen of Shops star Mary Portas.
Mr Lloyd said, “The views of Old Town residents are clear: We do not want Sainsbury’s opening a supermarket by Albert Parade.
“Through an old planning law which allows supermarkets to open on the same site where pubs once traded, I’m sure Sainsbury’s thought this would be a relatively easy process.
“However, we’ve so far received more than 4,000 signatures and we will be delivering them straight to the door of Sainsburys HQ.”
Mr Lloyd has promised that this will not just be a quiet handover. “We will also be taking along an assortment of props – a string of sausages, fish and so on – to demonstrate to the supermarket giant that they threaten our traditional shops here in Eastbourne and we are not prepared to stand idly by.
“Old Town residents and the cross-community Albert Parade Campaign Committee love our shopping parade with its traditional shops so I am asking for support on the day.
“Any local residents who can join us in London around midday on October 30, please call my office on 733030 so we can judge numbers, or email Gerard Thompson on firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.