Market Garden grocer’s in Essex Road ordered to leave premises
- Credit: Archant
A popular Essex Road greengrocer has been ordered to quit the premises. And there are fears it could become – you guessed it! – expensive luxury flats.
The family-run Market Garden shop, which has been at numbers 92 to 94 for more than 20 years, has been told to leave at the end of June.
Confusingly, co-owner Jacqui Emery doesn’t know who’s purchased the site, or what they intend to do with it. No planning applications have been submitted on Islington Council’s planning website.
Now customers have launched a campaign to a) delay Market Garden’s closure and b) lobby for it to be given an affordable lease under the new owners.
Kay Scorah, author of a recipe book for ingredients which can be bought from Essex Road’s indie food shops, created a petition on Tuesday.
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She said: “There is no planning application, and planning permission can take a while. So they should be able to stay at least until the owner gets planning permission.
“The rumour is the property will become luxury flats with a retail unit on the ground floor, but Market Garden don’t think they’ll be able to afford the rent. If there is a ground floor retail unit, we want to see if they can get an affordable lease – they’ve been here over 20 years, after all.”
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Jacqui herself said: “We just want to stay a bit longer. Our son works with us, so he’d be out of a job for a start. And my husband and I aren’t ready to retire yet!
“We knew this day was going to come. I got the phone call saying they are starting work on June 29, and we have to be out on June 23. With these big people, it can be hard to talk.”
Of Kay’s campaign, Jacqui added: “The customers want us to stay as long as possible. We haven’t really got anything to do with the petition, but let’s see if it gets anywhere.
“When it comes to it, it comes to it. But we’ve been here for a long time, so it’ll be a sad day.”
Kay added Market Garden, as well as shops like James Elliott butcher’s, Steve Hatt fishmonger’s and Raab’s bakery, are “central to the community”.
“It’s all about that stretch of shops. You can get all you need for your food shopping from these independents.
“With Market Garden, it’s really good value – and they use very little plastic packaging. There are also lots of elderly people from the Popham Estate who go in there and have a chat.”
To view the online petition, click here.