Campaigners are urging residents to support a row of shops in Old Town this Saturday (July 6) that are ‘under threat’ following plans for a supermarket to be introduced to the area.
Albert Parade boasts a butchers, green grocers, fishmongers and has been described as ‘special’ by the town’s MP Stephen Lloyd, who is also against a Sainsbury’s replacing The Drive pub.
Under existing planning laws, a change of use is not required to convert a pub to a supermarket.
As they step up their campaign those against the supermarket coming to town are urging residents to spend £5 in Albert Parade on Saturday to show their support to local shops.
There will also be the chance for people to take part in a photo shoot to drive the message home.
Eastbourne MP Mr Lloyd said, “Like many Old Town residents and traders I do not want a Sainsbury’s supermarket here.
“Albert Parade really is a very special community of shops with a fantastic range of independent retailers. From the fishmongers to the butchers, to a baker to a greengrocer, all of whom we fear are under threat if Sainsbury’s get there way.
“I urge as many people as possible from across Eastbourne to come and spend £5 on Albert Parade this Saturday.
“Also bring your brollies as at 11am we will be organising a big photo shoot with a clear, united message to Sainsbury’s; ‘Don’t rain on Albert Parade’.”
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. A public meeting was held about the issue and residents went on to set up an Albert Parade Action Committee. In addition a Facebook group has been set up called Keep Albert Parade Special which has 570 members and a website: www.albertparade.co.uk. Cross community petitions distributed by campaigners and local businesses have gathered hundreds of signatures opposing Sainsbury’s.
Brian Sheppard, the greengrocer on the parade, previously aired his concerns to the paper, stating, “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.”
On June 11 a planning application to alter the car park was rejected unanimously by Eastbourne Borough Councillors but the fact that a change of use is not required to convert the pub itself to a supermarket has caused concern among campaigners.
For more information visit Facebook and type in Keep Albert Parade Special and visit the website: www.albertparade.co.uk