Sainsbury’s plans to open in Highbury Vale police station rejected for a THIRD time

PUBLISHED: 10:17 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:28 09 August 2018

Neighbours protest the latest Sainsbury's application for the old Highbury Vale police station in Blackstock Road. Picture: Dieter Perry

Neighbours protest the latest Sainsbury's application for the old Highbury Vale police station in Blackstock Road. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

Sainsbury’s has seen its bid to open in the old Highbury Vale police station rejected for a THIRD time.

The supermarket giant has clearly not got the message that nobody wants it to open a second branch in Blackstock Road – not neighbours, not local businesses, not the council and not even the independent Planning Inspectorate.

The Gazette has been reporting on its repeated efforts to open the “Local” store for so long we have ran out of supermarket puns.

It’s been going on for two years now and each time the campaign against it grows stronger from neighbours.

They say it will put independent traders out of business and take away valuable road and pavement space due to delivery lorries coming and going throughout the day.

Last year Sainsbury’s appealed after Islington planners rejected the application, saying the store would “adversely impact the vibrancy of Finsbury Park town centre” and delivery lorries would cause congestion.

Then the inspectorate also refused it saying it would have a “materially adverse effect on highway safety due to inadequate servicing arrangements”.

And yesterday, after the supermarket came back with revised plans, Islington’s planners again refused permission saying it would to congestion and obstruction on the road and pavement.

The decision states: “The development fails to make adequate and safe provision for the necessary off-street loading, unloading and servicing and would unacceptably restrict the width of the footway.”

Planners also said there was “inadequate justification for the loss of two street trees”.

Hitesh Patel who runs Arsenal Wines near to the old police station welcomed the news but said people were now prepared for a second appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

But he said: “Surely now common sense will prevail and they will see the feeling in the community that it’s just not wanted.

“If they go and appeal once more it’s clear and obvious that this thing they say about doing it for the good of the local community is nonsense.

“Their reputation and brand credibility is now in danger and people are saying it’s quite dirty how they’ve done it.

“They put this bid in during the summer when more people were away but we had a better response. They should see that. They’ve got other stores within walking distance so I don’t think it will hurt them too much.”

Last month the Gazette revealed Sainsbury’s were planning to open another Local store on Hackney’s redeveloped King’s Crescent Estate – half-a-mile away from the old police station.

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