The Independent London Newspaper

 

Second store is too much for this area, Blackstock Road protesters tell supermarket giant

sainsburys protest

Campaigners outside the former police station in Blackstock Road

Published: 16 December, 2016
by JOE COOPER

A LAST-DITCH attempt to boost opposition to a new Sainsbury’s store in Highbury Vale was made on Saturday.

More than 50 people gathered outside the former police station in Blackstock Road to protest at plans for a new Local store, less than half-a-mile from the nearest Sainsbury’s.

Last year, campaigners believed their battle was won after planning permission was granted for a gym in the building, but the developer has since applied for a “minor amendment” to change it back to a supermarket.

Grocer Yucel Yavuz said: “This shop will severely damage existing businesses. Plus, Sainsbury’s don’t know this area the way we do. Having poorly-supervised alcohol sales on match days is a very bad idea. It will increase street drinking and anti-social behaviour.”

Canning Road resident Charlotte Heath said: “A second Sainsbury’s in Blackstock Road will ruin our cultural diversity, destroy local livelihoods and jobs, and seriously increase noise pollution.”

Highbury East ward councillor Caroline Russell said: “Traders and residents are clear that another Sainsbury’s is too much for Blackstock Road. “There’s already a wealth of community stores providing residents with great service. A second chain store will not help the many small businesses who play an essential part in a thriving local economy.”

Residents and traders took their fight to the full Islington Council meeting last night (Thursday). A petition has been signed by more than 1,000 people.

Sainsbury’s says up to 20 jobs would be created by the new shop. It claims new stores often result in higher, not lower, footfall for shops nearby. A spokeswoman said: “Our stores aim to complement, not compete with, local businesses.”

Councillors will consider the bid in the new year.

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