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Sainsbury’s make ANOTHER bid to open in Blackstock Road, Highbury

PUBLISHED: 17:16 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:17 14 June 2018

Cllr Caroline Russell at an anti-Sainsbury's protest in Blackstock Road last year. Picture: Dieter Perry

Cllr Caroline Russell at an anti-Sainsbury's protest in Blackstock Road last year. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

Brazen supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has made yet another bid to open in Blackstock Road, Highbury.

It comes despite the company having already been rejected twice.

Highbury East Cllr Caroline Russell, one of the leading campaigners against Sainsbury’s previous attempts to open, said the new planning application to Islington Council was “extraordinary”.

Sainsbury’s has been planning to open a “Local” shop on the site, which was formerly Highbury Vale police station, since 2015.

In February last year, Islington Council rejected the planning application, with councillors saying it would harm the town centre’s “vibrancy” and that loading bays would cause congestion in Blackstock Road.

The supermarket giant appealed the decision, but the government’s Planning Inspectorate threw it out in October.

But it has now made a fresh bid. Cllr Russell said: “This is really devastating news for the campaigners, and for the people who live around the site.

“Sainsbury’s has been shown the door already, and by a really well organised group which made its case very coherently. What does Sainsbury’s think it’s playing at, having another go at Blackstock Road? It’s extraordinary.”

In its planning statement, Indigo, an agent representing Sainsbury’s, claim the concerns about congestion have now been addressed.

It said that after “extensive engagement” with Islington Council, the pavement would be shrunk by half a metre in order for the 6.4m road width to remain the same.

Cllr Russell, a staunch campaigner for safe walking and cycling, said of this plan: “That’s ludicrous. Ridiculous. They shouldn’t be taking up pedestrian space. We have a crisis of obesity and physical activity in this borough and we need pavement space for people to walk and do their business.

“This is another example of a big company putting the cost of running its business by stealing the community’s pavement space. It’s outrageous and selfish.”

Indigo said the application demonstrates “servicing and highwaysafety concerns have been addressed and an agreed solution provided”.

Sainsbury’s, which has another Local shop in the Finsbury Park end of Blackstock Road, has been approached for comment. Islington Council has yet to set a date to decide the application.

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