Villagers turn out for protest
by Anna White
A village has put on a united front as it prepares to fight
plans to open a national supermarket on its doorstep.
More than 100 people met in Lenham village square last night to
stage a protest against the Southern Co-Operative.
The company wants to replace the former ironmongers in Faversham
Road, with a food convenience store.
A formal application is yet to be submitted to Maidstone council
but the idea of having a branded shop in the community has been
greeted with mass opposition.
Andy Ratcliffe, who lives nearby in Sandway, said: "A Co-Op
would kill this village. It would most probably undercut the
independently owned businesses and would end up closing the bakers,
butcher, post office, pharmacy and florist.
"We can't let this happen to such a unique community."
The campaign has received support from TV personalities Ian
Hislop and Carol McGiffin, and Hugh Robertson, the MP for Faversham
and Mid Kent.
Mr Robertson's constituency office was above the ironmongers
when it was destroyed in an arson attack in 2010.
Many of the protesters from last night's demonstration are
expected to attend a public meeting with the Southern Co-Operative
and Lenham parish council, on Saturday.
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