- Tower Hamlets
Stoke Newington residents are to be consulted about plans for a Sainsbury’s supermarket just off Stoke Newington Church Street. The public exhibition of the proposals are at Abney Public Hall, on July 1 and 2.
As ELL revealed last week, the proposed development, which is currently at the pre-planning stage, will comprise a food store, up to 50 residential units including affordable housing and a large underground car park. The development is to be tucked behind behind Wholefoods market and up against the side of Abney Park cemetery. The store will be larger than the one that is just a few minutes away at Stamford Hill.
The developers of the site are Newmark Properties LLP and it is thought that Sainsbury’s have already agreed a 20-year lease on the site, subject to planning permission. Newmark explained in a statement that the development would bring 200 jobs and “Much needed parking for shoppers to the town centre which will benefit all local businesses.”
Local people are concerned that cars entering and leaving from a widened entrance into Stoke Newington High Street will create traffic chaos on an already congested road. Local resident, and musician, Deirdre Cartwright summed up local feeling when she said the construction of a new supermarket would hurt local businesses and went against the area’s ethos:
“Stoke Newington is known for its independent shops and retailers. Even when Fresh & Wild opened up here, people weren’t incredibly keen because it was a small chain. I think Sainsbury’s, or any of the big supermarkets, tend to suck out the lifeblood from the small businesses. I think it would have a detrimental effect.”
Johnny Rodriguez, who works at The Fisheries fishmonger nearby, pointed out that small businesses were already under pressure:
“Business is diminishing due to the recession. Having a ‘one stop shop’ here would just make it worse. We would struggle. We would probably have to cut down on staff and on the amount of fish we stock.”
The new store could also threaten a high quality butcher that is rumoured to be about to open on Church Street.
The Stoke Newington Business Association put out a statement on Friday saying that businesses in the area are divided over the proposals. Rosanne Barry, of Rosa’s Lingerie, who chairs the association, is not herself convinced that another food outlet is necessary in the area. However she points out that: “ Hackney Council has this space zoned as dedicated retail land which means that there will be at some point a retail development of some sort on this site unless this zoning decision is altered.”
Twitter traffic on the subject is largely negative. One local shop owner said today: “It will never happen. There is already a huge fuss about it.”
A petition against the development can be found here.
The exhibition will be held at: Abney Public Hall, 73A Stoke Newington Church St. London N16 OAS. For more information you can call Nicholas Vose on 020 3023 9081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org