Nearly 100 people have signed an open letter calling for a supermarket chain to announce its intentions for a building left empty after a fire.

The roof of the three-storey building in Shenfield Road, Woodford Green, was completely destroyed in the blaze in July, closing the ground floor Londis branch.

This has left someone vulnerable residents needing to take a taxi to buy basic supplies, such as a pint of milk.

Now Conservative activists, supported by dozens of residents, have asked the company to carify its intentions for the site.

The letter said: "The shop and the flat are separate entities in most ways, and it would be possible to begin work on the shop without the planning decision in place.

“Residents are concerned and eager to see the return of the local convenience store to the site and a clean-up of the site is being unduly delayed."

Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith visited the site on Friday and vowed to contact Redbridge Council over the issue.

Church End Conservatives Action Team member, Tom McLaren, said:  "We have spoken to residents that have serious health problems that have to take a taxi or drive to the supermarket just to get a newspaper or a bottle of milk.

“Apart from the lack of a proper roof, the shop is not too badly damaged and could be reopened without too much work. Residents need this to happen."

The Guardian was unable to contact Londis for comment.