By Claire Smyth
Protesters involved in the occupation of the former Taj premises in St James’s Street, Brighton, last month are stepping up their campaign against Sainsbury’s.
They want to stop the supermarket chain from opening a store in the Kemp Town street.
More than 1,300 people have now signed a petition, including Green MP Caroline Lucas, against the supermarket chain’s plans to move into the Taj site.
This means that the issue will be discussed at the next Brighton and Hove City Council meeting later this month.
At a public meeting on Monday (7 March), campaigners, including Green councillor Rachel Fryer and a businessman whose bid to open a locally sourced food store on the premises was denied, discussed ways to prevent a fourth supermarket opening in the street.
The No More Supermarkets in Kemp Town group has written an open letter to the Conservative leader of the council Mary Mears asking her to put pressure on Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to change the law.
At the moment, the group said, the law favours “large corporations and prejudices the interests of local people everywhere”.
Elsewhere, the Kemp Town Conservatives have started their own petition against Sainsbury’s plans because, they say, “the arrival of this supermarket could herald the demise of long-standing independent businesses in the road”.
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