I write on behalf of our customer, Mrs Patel, of Patel’s Convenience Store, Stoney Lane Estate, Lightcliffe. I understand that Pennine Housing are proposing to demolish the premises occupied by Mrs Patel and redevelop the area for new houses.
The parade of shops is run down which means that it is even more to the credit of Mrs Patel that she has remained as the only shop in the area serving the needs of the local community.
Of all communities, the social housing sector is one which needs and values local services provided when and where they are needed, and Patel’s Convenience is surely a shining example of such provision.
The council’s declared intent is to “(retain) local identity for local communities and using the shared skills and expertise of the Together Housing Group we aim to give better services and value to our customers, and achieve our mission of Making a Better Future, Together”.
As a social enterprise it seems to me that this proposal falls well short of meeting these important aspirations.
My purpose in writing is to request of the council these plans are re considered to give proper thought to the needs of the community and to recognise the loyalty that Mrs Patel has shown to them. It may well be that the area needs investment and rejuvenation, but surely that should include provision for local, convenient shopping facilities.
I don’t doubt that Mrs Patel would be delighted to work with the council to achieve this, and that a suitable format store with accommodation could be included in the plans.
As suppliers to Mrs Patel we would be delighted to work with the council and Mrs Patel to show you just how attractive and professional such a store could be, and how this could be a real alternative to the distant, faceless superstores which would otherwise be the alternative to residents, taking jobs and profits away from the local area and the community.