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Bid to save high street steps up another gear

PUBLISHED: 15:51 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 25 August 2010

TRADERS are due to take a 1,800-strong petition calling for a shake up of their high street to councillors today.

TRADERS are due to take a 1,800-strong petition calling for a shake up of their high street to councillors today.

Shoppers and residents in Sidcup flocked to sign the Save Sidcup High Street petition, started by staff at Petals florist, over the Christmas period.

Prompted by the fall of Woolworths and the closure of as many as 17 units before Christmas, traders said they feared the recession would leave the high street a 'ghost town'.

Kaz Price of Petals said: "People have shown a lot of support for this and some are excited by the idea that something could be done to help the situation.

"Hopefully this will stir things up a bit."

Mike Lowe of Sidcup Town Centre Promotions Group is to hand the petition to Bexley councillors at a meeting today.

He said: "The biggest grievance for us is parking in the high street and it is something the council can change.

"There's also about 30 empty units now. People don't want to look at that - the high street could do with some refurbishment."

Bexley councillors last week promised to help Welling High Street traders who are suffering as a result of two supermarkets closing at the same time.

Tesco closed in order to build a new larger store in Embassy Court and the Co-op was brought by Morrisons in October and has lain dormant since.

Last Tuesday the council received a complete planning application to refurbish and change the store's frontage.

John Fuller, chair of the Planning Control Committee, said: "The planning department is aware of the speed this needs to be dealt with. I have told them it needs to be fast tracked."

The item is likely to go before the board on February 29.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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