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Traders in uproar over new Morrisons plan
8:00am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
MORRISONS has announced it is to open yet another convenience store in an area already crammed with grocery shops.
The supermarket giant has applied to open a store in Leigh, to the dismay of nearby shopkeepers and residents.
The chain is seeking an alcohol licence for an M Local shop at the former County Interiors furniture shop at 1663 London Road, near Gordon Road.
It already has a large store in Hadleigh.
It has one in Eastwood and is set to open in the old Blockbusters store in Rayleigh High Street next month, It wants to sell alcohol between 6am and midnight seven days a week.
No planning application is needed as no change of use of the building is required.
However, newsagents and grocers are worried their business will be under threat as more brand name supermarkets saturate the area.
A total of 16 grocery stores cram into the three miles between Sainsbury’s, in South-end town centre and the Tesco Express, opposite Cottesmore Gardens, Leigh.
Nilesh Patel, owner of Sweet News at 1454 London Road, said: “This is opposite a newsagents, 100 yards from another and 200 yards from me. This will kill us off.
“We had heard rumours about Morrisons, but thought it would never happen.
“They have a large store in Hadleigh – why do they need another so close?”
Barry Jeffries from B.J Meats Ltd, Chandra Kanthan from Premier, Sujeen Tahran from Best One and Jera Steen from Leigh News also object to the plan, along with residents.
David Spencer, 65, of Sydney Road, Leigh accused the supermarket giants of being greedy.
He said: “We live on the next road down from where the Morrisons will be. About six or seven food shops can be reached by foot within ten minutes of us.
“If another supermarket opens the small independents will simply go to the wall. We don’t want to see a load of boarded-up shops in Leigh.”
He was also concerned about late-night deliveries adding: “This is a residential area and we can’t possibly imagine huge lorries delivering to Morrisons until late at night.
“We don’t think selling alcohol until midnight is a good idea either.”
A spokesman for Morrisons said: “We’re in the early stages of discussions for a Morrisons M Local and cannot say anything further.”
Southend Council will decide the licence application.
Representations should be sent by October 3 to the Licensing Authority, Southend Council, Civic Centre (Floor 13) , Victoria Avenue, Southend SS2 6ZG or e-mail email@example.com
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