No plans to pull down shops

Shila Patel at Patel's Convience Store, Stoney Lane Estate, Lightcliffe.
Shila Patel at Patel's Convience Store, Stoney Lane Estate, Lightcliffe.
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Residents in a housing area in Lightcliffe have been told that there are no plans to replace the community shop with houses.

Fears had begun to grow that the row of shops on the Stoney Lane Estate, of which all but one have stood empty for over seven years, would be torn down.

The one shop still open on the parade is a convenience store run by Shila Patel, who also lives above the shop too.

Hundreds of residents signed a petition to keep the shops, and a meeting of the Stoney Tenants and Residents Group, Jeanette Pearce from Pennine Housing, assured residents that the shop would stay.

“At this moment in time we have no plans to take down the shops and put houses there,” she said.

“That’s not what we’re planning to do. I am not going anywhere and I’ve got to come back and face you in the future, and there’s no way we want to go against what people want.”

Ms Pearce said that while they will be unable to replace the shops, Pennine will provide a small budget to re-paint them and to tidy them up.

“We can keep it clean and tidy and make it look a little bit better,” she told the meeting.

“You’re not going to see some brand new shops there but you are going to see something better.

She also confirmed that Ms Patel would have her lease extended beyond the current period. She added: “It was never the intention not to renew it.”

The residents will now meet to discuss what they would like to see their new shops look like.

Ms Patel said: “I’m just relieved to be honest. I didn’t want to spend money on improving the shop if my lease wasn’t going to be renewed.”