Villagers in Lenham turn out in force to protest at plans for Southern Co-Operative store
More than 100 people
protested in Lenham village square last night
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.
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, who lives in Sissinghurst and is pictured left, and
Carol McGiffin as well as 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 -
including a town crier - are expected to attend a public meeting
with the Southern Co-Operative and Lenham parish council on
Video: Villagers gathered
in Lenham to protest against plans to open a branch of the Southern
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