July 22 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
A corner shop in Woodford Green will finally be reopening almost a year after it was devastated by a fire.
Londis, in Shenfield Road, was left an “eyesore” covered in plastic sheeting and scaffolding following the blaze in June 2013.
More than 100 residents signed a letter calling for the convenience shop to be repaired as many struggled to get everyday items.
Tom McLaren, of the Church End Action Team, said work was delayed because the owner applied for planning permission to expand the flat above the shop.
He added: “Many local residents are elderly or have young families and for them in particular the store provides a key service, so getting this pledge of support from the owners is a really pleasing.”
It is expected to reopen in May with a new manager.
The building has been derelict since the blaze spread through the flat above and destroyed part of the roof.
No one was injured but the shop was ruined by water used to douse the flames, which took almost three hours to put out.
The Church End Action Team and residents raised the issue with Redbridge Council’s area committee two, wrote a letter to Londis and worked with the freeholder in their campaign.