November 23, 2015
New petition aims to protect Burnham Morrisons site as a supermarket

Hundreds of people in Burnham-On-Sea have signed a new petition calling for the site of soon-to-close Morrisons store to be retained as a supermarket rather than become flats or housing in the future.

Burnham's store in Pier Street closes this Sunday (November 29th) as part of a nationwide cost-cutting move by the firm, which the store is no longer viable.

"2,500 people signed the first petition asking for action to prevent the loss of our town centre supermarket," organiser Gaynor Brown told "We now demand that the site is retained as a full service supermarket."

"The council were of the opinion that this store was essential to the sustainability of the town when it was first developed 25 years ago."

"The huge expansion of the town since only augments that need and demand."

"The store provides vital jobs and footfall and perrmits the purchase of a varied and healthy diet within walking distance of our homes. It should not be redeveloped in any other format."

She added: "The information we gather now form this petition will be vital evidence for the planning inspectors in the event of any future planning application for the development of the site as flats or housing."

The new petition can be signed here and has been met by a positive response so far, she said. "We took the new petition down to the store on Saturday and collected over 300 signatures outside in just over an hour despite the freezing weather. Lots of people still didn't know about the closure and lots were very distressed about how they will shop."

"The nearest alternative store, Lidl, is not a full-range supermarket and Burnham's town centre shops don't sell the same products as Morrisons at the same prices so some customers now face a £10 taxi fare to do their weekly shop."

The petition can be signed at Morrisons and in several shops in Burnham town centre.

Meanwhile, Morrisons has not issued any new statements on the closure despite several requests from The firm also said it is not commenting on the number of staff being laid off, or the number it has successfully redeployed to other stores.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: "We have looked extremely carefully at whether our store in Burnham-On-Sea can be turned around but unfortunately we cannot see a way of making it viable."

The decision comes despite a local campaign to try and save the store. A petition was signed by around 2,400 people calling for the firm to reconsider the closure.

A protest was also held during a Town Council meeting where residents and staff waved signs and called for action to save the store, as pictured above.

Morrisons announced earlier this autumn that 11 stores across the UK had been earmarked for closure as part of the cost-cutting moves.

The 11 are Burnham-On-Sea, Castletown in Sunderland, Clevedon, Little Hulton, Northallerton, Oldbury, Salford, Shildon, Streatham, Tyldesley and West Bromwich.

Also see:
Council 'confident' that Burnham Morrisons store won't be empty long
Burnham's MP meets campaigners battling to save Morrisons store
Burnham Morrisons staff told store will shut at the end of November
Protest held over Burnham Morrisons closure at council debate
Morrisons to close its Burnham-On-Sea store


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