A STANTON Hill business owner is demanding answers over what will happen to the former Co-op shop when it transfers to the old Netto premises.
Trish Phillips, who runs a florist on High Street, says residents and traders are being left in the dark about the future of the former Co-op store on High Street when it moves to the bigger site, which is also at High Street.
Trish, also chairman of the Stanton Hill Community Development Group, says: “People have a right to know what is happening with it.”
According to Trish, rumours are flying around the village about the future of the site - and there are concerns that if it is left empty, it will become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.
“People are hearing rumours about it being knocked down and flats built,” she said.
“I don’t want it to be an eyesore or a blot on the landscape.”
In the past, Stanton Hill has suffered spates of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Describing the situation now, Trish said: “It is better but we could still do with more. The police have put a lot of effort in here.”
But she warned that trouble could flare up again if the former Co-op store were left vacant.
In July, bosses at the Co-operative Group announced that they planned to create a bigger store in the village by taking over the Netto site.
Now Trish says she would like to see another food store taking over the old Co-op.
“What’s wrong with putting another food shop there? It’s fair to have a bit of healthy competition.”
Meanwhile, Coun Jason Zadrozny, whose Sutton North ward includes Stanton Hill, said: “I have spoken to lots of people on High Street and most of the small businesses and residents want to see it returned as part of the High Street and keep some jobs.”
He also said that new, independent businesses on High Street had made the area a ‘bustling’ place to be and that he would welcome another retailer coming in to the unit.
Ashfield MP Gloria de Piero added: “It is not in anyone’s interest to see empty properties on our local high streets.
“High streets are vital to the economic and social health of our communities and successful high streets require careful planning with local authorities working with local people and businesses
Yesterday, a spokesman for the Co-operative group said: “Following the opening of the new Co-operative food store in Stanton Hill, the former premises will be put on the market in the next few weeks.
“The Co-operative Group will also be considering alternative proposals to bring the property back into beneficial use.”