500 sign petition to keep the corner shop

Shila Patel at Patel's Convience Store, Stoney Lane Estate, Lightcliffe.
Shila Patel at Patel's Convience Store, Stoney Lane Estate, Lightcliffe.

A shop owner in Lightcliffe has thanked her customers after almost 500 of them signed a petition to save her business.

Shila Patel, of Patel’s Conveniences on the Stoney Lane Estate, faces eviction from the premises because landlords Pennine Housing want to demolish the decaying row of shops to make space for new houses.

But Shila and her loyal customers have begun a petition to save the store, which is the only one in the row still open.

Shila, 31, who took over the running of the family business from her father back in August, said: “The support from the customers has been incredible.

“I can’t believe how much support I’ve had from them. At first I was panicking but they’ve given me the courage to fight for the shop.”

The other shops along the parade have been closed for around 11 years and the area has fallen into disrepair.

“This shop provides a valuable service especially during the winter weather when we are people’s lifeline,” Shila said.

“Brighouse and Halifax are a long way for some people to go if the weather is poor.

“I just want to know what is happening and where my future stands.”

Councillor Graham Hall (Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, Cons) presented the petition to the council and said that even if redevelopment did take place, provisions should be made to save the shop.

“It could be achieved by either retaining the existing shop unit, which is providing a valuable facility to the community, or ensuring that when any redevelopment takes place, where the existing shops are situated, that part of the new build includes a new shop for the current owners to occupy with living accommodation above or adjacent to it for them,” he said.