A FORMER camping shop in Shoebury is to be the site of a Morrisons Local store.

The landmark building, on the corner of Ness Road and Campfield Road, was once a cinema and later housed the camping shop, but the dilapidated building was demolished and then rebuilt in the style of the old cinema.

It is now flats, with a retail area on the ground floor.

The new store comes just four months after Sainsbury’s Local opened opposite nearby Hinguar Primary School, in New Garrison Road.

Morrison’s has recently filed an alcohol licence application to Southend Council to ask for permission to sell alcohol, between 6am and midnight, seven days a week. The decision is due on Monday.

There are fears the rise of convenience stores could have an adverse affect on small businesses.

Peter Grubb, of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in Shoebury Common Road, says he is concerned about the impact of another convenience store on Shoebury.

He said: “My principle concern is no one in their right mind would put that level of investment in a shop in that area unless they’d got the nod that 400 homes are being developed in the area.

They must be in the know.

“Another concern of mine is about all the small businesses currently serving people in the local community.

“They’ll get wiped out by the big supermarket just as they have in other areas.”

However, Mike Bowyer, of Dennis the Bakers, on High Street, Shoebury, said he was not concerned about losing any trade.

He said: “We’ve already got two convenience stores and a Sainsbury’s Local within a quarter of amile of us and it’s not really affected us because we offer fresh bread and fresh sandwiches.

“If there was going to be competition for us it would’ve come from Sainsbury’s opening last year, but we had a really good summer, and because Morrisons is a little bit further away I don’t think it will affect us.”

Shoebury councillor, Anne Chalk, said the store could be positive for the area. She added: “I can’t see any problem with it myself.

“I think it will be good competition for Sainsbury’s.

“There aren’t any other general stores along Ness Road at the moment so I can’t see it would affect the shopping there.”

Shoebury councillor Mike Assenheim said he was concerned the store could encourage more people to buy alcohol due to the licensing application.

He said: “I’ve had no comments or objections from residents about the new store.

“My only comment would be on the drinks licence and whether it would encourage more people to drink due to the hours which have been applied for.”