Redevelopment threatens Stoke Newington store

The Church Street Bookshop on Stoke Newington Church Street. Pic: Leila Zerai

An independent bookshop in Stoke Newington which has been running for over 20 years might be forced to close if a redevelopment proposal goes ahead.

The Church Street Bookshop, which sells secondhand books, is part of a block on Stoke Newington Church Street that includes a vintage clothes shop, an estate agent and a car repair garage. The developer has proposed to replace the block with a large shop or restaurant. 

The site is part of the Stoke Newington Conservation Area, which identifies the buildings as making a positive contribution to the district. However, the planning application argues that the block in its current form is “run-down” and has “poor economic prospects”.

Tim Watson, owner of the Church Street Bookshop, told EastLondonLines that he hopes to rent another shop unit if the development goes ahead but it would depend on the rental rates. “It would be a shame if these smaller shops are amalgamated, for self-preservation reasons and also for the character of the area,” he said.

Objections to the planning application can be submitted to Hackney Council online until August 13 2012.

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