James Brokenshire has urged Waitrose to think again over its decision to pull out of opening a new store on Sidcup High Street. The local MP joined Bexley Council Leader, Cllr Teresa O'Neill and her Cabinet colleague Cllr Linda Bailey to lobby Waitrose executives during a meeting at the foodstore's central London offices in Victoria.
The local delegation met Diana Hunter, Waitrose's Director Convenience Stores and James Gilhooley, its Head of Property, to discuss the company's recent decision and its intentions for the site it had been developing until earlier this month. The new Waitrose store was planned as part of the development of a new Travelodge in the eastern section of Sidcup High Street. Bexley's Planning Committee gave the scheme planning permission in March.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has written to Waitrose, asking them to reconsider their decision and to express his support for the development.
James has also given his backing to the "We Want Waitrose" petition calling on the company to reverse its decision and open a store in Sidcup as soon as possible. The petition has already been signed by hundreds of residents and James joined local Councillors in signing up more names in Sidcup on Saturday.
Commenting James said:
"Waitrose have said that they want to open a store in Sidcup and we want them to follow through on their original commitments. As an organisation which prides itself on its strong community relations, Waitrose should reflect on the strong views of Sidcup residents and put their plans back on track."
Bexley's petition is available to sign online at www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-want-waitrose, at local shops displaying the campaign poster.