June 20 2013 Latest news:
Robin Cottle, Reporter
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Politicians launched a petition yesterday in a bid to convince upmarket supermarket Waitrose to reverse its plan not to build a store in Sidcup.
The new store was planned as part of the development of a new Travelodge on the High Street, in the place where the historic Black Horse pub used to stand. Councillors approved planning permission in March last year and Waitrose took out a 15 year lease. However, John Lewis Partnership, which has driven the bid, announced last month that it no longer wished to proceed.
Cllr Linda Bailey, cabinet member for economic regeneration said people were shocked. “We believe the store would be a great success and we will be meeting the company to urge it to change its mind. We have started a petition and we hope as many local people as possible will support us by signing it.”
The plan was initially met with scepticism from residents but the Sidcup Community Forum accepted Waitrose was the best option for the vacant space.
A spokesman for the supermarket said: “Following a recent review we are no longer confident we would be able to make our planned involvement in the scheme commercially viable in the long-term.
“We did not want to put at risk the jobs of local people we would employ and we are therefore marketing the lease of the unit.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we would like to welcome everyone who had welcomed our original plan.”