A TEMPORARY shop that was closed after it did not apply for a correct licence from the council has been saved.
The pop-up Co-op in Middle Road, Park Gate was opened as the main store closed for a three-week refurbishment.
It was shut down by highways officers on Sunday after it failed to obtain a licence from Hampshire County Council in time, much to the disappointment of elderly residents living in the nearby Raglan Court sheltered housing.
Residents contacted county councillor Sean Woodward who stepped in and saved the store from closure by helping them negotiate more time from the council.
Tina Maggs, who lives nearby, said: ‘I called councillor Woodward and he attended within minutes to see the issue for himself.
‘I am delighted that he responded so quickly and sorted the problem out for us all.’
Councillor Woodward visited the Co-op cabin on Sunday morning and met manager, Richard Bradley who explained that Co-op wanted to provide a temporary service and that it was not making a profit out of the venture.
The shop had received a visit from highways officers, who had ordered them to close by Sunday evening as the Co-op did not have permission to park and trade from in the lay-by.
Councillor Woodward, who is also in charge of roads at the county council, agreed that it was necessary to take a pragmatic view given the temporary nature of the shop.
Also taking into the needs of the elderly residents, many of whom felt unable to walk further to buy newspapers and necessities.
He said: ‘While technically Co-op has breached the rules and should have obtained a licence I have agreed with highway officers that they can stay open and have 48 hours to obtain the necessary licence.
‘My priority is to help the elderly residents who are not terribly mobile to enjoy the basic service that Co-op has been thoughtful enough to provided for a few weeks while their store is refurbished.’
The mobile Co-op will be sited in a lay-by outside the existing shop until the main shop is refurbished.
The store is due to reopen on Thursday, December 4.