The leader of Merton Council said he will be putting pressure on Morrisons to keep a branch open in Mitcham town centre after it suddenly announced plans to close the shop.

Morrisons has revealed it could close for good in the neighbourhood in just two months’ time.

The shop is in a key town centre location.

Its closure in March will follow the that of Halifax, a few doors down on Majestic Way, which shut down in November.

Councillor Ross Garrod, Merton Council leader, said: “We generally have a low vacancy rate in Mitcham town centre and after the closure of Halifax this is really going to show.

"We are writing to the owners of the building and Morrisons to find out if there is anything the council can do to encourage them them to stay.”

A spokesperson for Morrisons said the company will be consulting on the proposed closure with current staff.

They said: “Following a routine review and with the upcoming renewal of the lease, we can confirm that we are reviewing proposals which involve the closure of our Mitcham store in March.

"At this time, we are working closely with our hard-working and dedicated colleagues as we undertake a thorough and comprehensive consultation process.”

In Merton Council’s local plan, the site is earmarked for development. The site in the plan spans along Majestic Way from Poundland to Morrisons and includes the multi-storey car park behind.

It says between 60 and 160 new homes could be built on this site over five to ten years.

The plan reads: “The site provides an opportunity to modernise and revitalise the town centre by supplying new homes and increase business floorspace in an accessible area.

“Proposal must contribute to increasing the footfall, the local economy and support the vitality and sustainability of Mitcham town centre.

“Development proposals design and building must make an attractive and significant contribution to improving the look and feel of the whole town centre and Fair Green.

"In addition, be sensitive to Mitcham town centre landmark, namely the clock tower.”