A residents' group has been formed to give the community a say on the future of a Londis store that has been burnt out for nearly a year.
The Shenfield Road Shop Residents Group will seek to register the Londis store, in Shenfield Road, Woodford Green, derelict since July 2013, as a community asset.
Owner Dinesh Patel confirmed last month that he was in the process of opening the store after previously submitting a planning application to expand the living space above the shop.
The new residents' group will ask that Redbridge Council register the shop as a community asset, meaning if the business ever went up for sale, the group could make a bid to buy it, and they will also have a chance to reject plans for the change in the use of the store.
The Localism Act 2011 gives communities the right to register the shop as a community asset if it furthers their community’s social well-being.
Brenda Tucker-Lowell, of Landscape Road, one of the founding members, believes the new group will give residents a say on the future of the site
The 66-year-old said: "We are all concerned that nothing will be done and we want to keep the store in the community rather than it being sold for flats.
"There are some very old residents who cannot walk half a mile to the nearest store, located near the underground station.
"The store had been there for over 30 years, so we just want it back up and running, and we want to be in the loop.
"Listing the store as a community asset will mean we are informed on its future and have a say on what happens to it.
"We are aiming for the store to be reopened and remain open for the benefit of the community."