Northampton area set to lose its only shop after owner claims regeneration plans were altered by borough

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More than 300 people have signed a petition to keep a Northampton shop in their community.

Jaya Patel has run Nicky’s News shop in Little Cross Street, Spring Borough, for more than 17 years and was preparing to move further down the road as buildings on the street near demolition as part of the area’s regeneration.

But she has now learned that landlords Northampton Borough Council do not intend to transfer the business to a newly-built premises after all and that she will have to close altogether.

She said: “Residents on the local forum agreed to these plans for the area because they had a shop included.

“It seems like they have gotten the agreement and are now changing the plans. It feels very sneaky.”

Mrs Patel heard about the latest scenario on Wednesday and had already gathered more than 300 names on a petition and has received letters of support from customers.

She said she feels the shop acts as a community hub, even going so far as to deliver groceries by hand to housebound customers and give some customers goods on credit.

Craig Ryan, vice chair of the residents’ forum Spring Boroughs Voice, said the plans were completely different from the ones given assent by neighbours in 2013.

He said: “When we heard about it his week, we were devastated.

“There’s been a shop on that corner since the Victorian terraces were built and losing it will rip the heart out of this community.”

A Northampton Borough Council spokeswoman said:“To enable the redevelopment of Little Cross Street it is unfortunately necessary to terminate the lease of the business. The council will of course do all it can to work with the business owner to re-provide suitable shop facilities in the future.”