Plans for a Sainsbury’s mega-store just off Stoke Newington Church Street are to be scaled down after a vociferous local campaign which included a ‘zombie-a-thon’ through the area last October.
The original plan would have required the demolition of Victorian houses on the High Street to allow for traffic in and out of a large underground car park. Local traders were concerned about the possible effect on the vibrant independent retail sector.
Johnny Rodriguez, who works at The Fisheries fishmonger nearby, told ELL 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.”
According to property developers Newmark, in the new plans the retail space will be reduced by 30% and the housing will be increased to “include family sized units” with a mix of “affordable” homes.
The “300” delivery vehicles per day that were expected to wend their way along Stoke Newington Church St and turn into the narrow entrance of Wilmer Place (just opposite William Patten primary school) are to be reduced to 30 vehicles per day and the size of the trucks will also be reduced.
The developers have organised an exhibition of the the proposals on site at 195-201 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 OLH on Tuesday 29th May between 12pm and 8pm.
Stokey Local, the campaign established to fight the original plans, have cautiously welcomed the news. According to local organiser, John Page:
“Stokey Local will be calling a meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss whether we feel the changes make this proposal acceptable, or whether we need to organise to ensure our voices are heard.
He also called on local people to: “Pass this message on to neighbours and let’s ensure that the developer knows that this community cares about developments in the community.”
View the plans on Tuesday 29th May between 12pm and 8pm at 195-201 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 OLH