Published: 11:45, 17 July 2019
| Updated: 14:06, 17 July 2019
The campaign to get Sainsbury’s to build the supermarket they said they would in Staplehurst rages on.
A number of key figureheads including the local parish council, and Maidstone Borough Councillors have all given their backing, saying the derelict building needs to go and the supermarket needs to be built.
Two sites were bought by the retail giant and were given planning permission back in 2013, but there has been no progress since. The derelict site on Station Approach has prompted locals to call for action.
“It looks derelict. It looks a mess,” said ward Cllr John Perry (Con).
“We’ve got to go back to Sainsbury’s and I think just tell them how it is quite strongly.
“The whole station area does need improving and this was part of our Local Plan.”
Many are now fearing it could drive down the value of surrounding houses and drive people away from businesses.
Rajendra Parekh owns the Station Newsagents store opposite the site. He said he was fearful for his business.
“It’s depressing and we have to put up with it every day,” he said.
“The village needs something there. We’ve lost everything, we have no bank and we’re soon going to lose the post office.
“Everyone in the surrounding villages would use this Sainsbury’s.”
But the retailer giant insisted it was on top of the situation.
A spokesman said: “Staplehurst is one of a number of projects we’re currently reviewing.
“This is while we continue to open new stores, like a new Sainsbury’s Local which opens in Canterbury soon, and invest in the hundreds of existing stores which are already available to our customers across the UK.
“We appreciate there is a lot of support for a new store in Staplehurst and we will update the community on this specific development as soon as we’re able to do so.”
More by this authorAlan Smith