‘Bug Parade’ march through Stoke Newington in protest against new Sainsbury’s store

Demonstrators make their way down Rectory Road in Stoke Newington. Photo: Bill Konos.

Demonstrators make their way down Rectory Road in Stoke Newington. Photo: Bill Konos.

Demonstrators marched through the streets of Stoke Newington on July 27 in protest at plans for a new Sainsbury’s store on the High Street.

The ‘Bug Parade’ march was part of a long-running campaign against redevelopment plans that include a large Sainsbury’s store on Stoke Newington High Street.

About 200-300 protestors – many costumed as insects, wildlife and plants – believe the type and proximity of the development to Abney Park will have a detrimental impact on the ecology of the nature reserve.

Annie Wilson, a Stoke Newington resident taking part in the march said: “Today I’m hoping to make a statement about the profound effect the development will have on the Abney Park cemetery and its wildlife.”

Fellow marcher Sean Gifford, 38, also from Stoke Newington added: “A new Sainsbury’s would be bad for independent businesses.”

A view echoed by local businessman Deniz Bilgin who manages the Stoke Newington Green Fruit & Veg shop on Church Street. “Sainsbury’s already has a large store in Stamford Hill.

“If they open another one on Stoke Newington High Street local shops including ours will suffer.

“There are already plenty of big name supermarkets in the area.”

Residents of Stoke Newington have seen off different development plans proposed by Newmark Properties, the company behind the Wilmer Place scheme.

Newmark contests that it has responded to previous reasons for refusal of planning permission by making a number of changes in a resubmitted planning application.

A spokesperson for the developer said:

“The revised scheme will bring enhancements to the ecology and biodiversity of the site, confirmed by independent ecology consultants for the Council. The scheme has been redesigned and excludes a grass strip from the development footprint, which would be given over to the cemetery.

“The revised scheme also includes more family sized units. It is estimated the scheme could bring in £6.3 million in business rates, £1 million in council tax over 25 years, £600,000 in S106 contributions to improve the town centre and enhance Abney Park Cemetery as well as 200 jobs targeted for Hackney’s unemployed young people and the long term unemployed.”

The latest revised planning application will be considered by Hackney Council Planning Committee on Wednesday, July 31.

Click here to see photos of yesterday’s march.

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