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Sainsbury’s applies to overturn Blackstock Road planning decision so it can open second branch

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 18:27 06 December 2016

Julie Horten and John Gilbert pictureed outside the former Highbury Vale police station in 2014, when Sainsbury's was first snubbed in favour of smaller retail units.

Julie Horten and John Gilbert pictureed outside the former Highbury Vale police station in 2014, when Sainsbury's was first snubbed in favour of smaller retail units.

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Sainsbury’s has angered campaigners by making a fresh bid to open a second shop in Blackstock Road.

Shoppers and business owners outside the former Highbury Vale Police Station in Blackstock Road, where Sainsbury's wants to build a convenience store. Picture: John Macdonald-FultonShoppers and business owners outside the former Highbury Vale Police Station in Blackstock Road, where Sainsbury's wants to build a convenience store. Picture: John Macdonald-Fulton

The supermarket chain has applied to overturn a ruling about the maximum size of shops that can open in the former Highbury Vale Police Station.

At the moment the conditions are too restrictive for Sainsbury’s to open a viable branch.

Former Islington Council leader Terry Stacy MBE said the move ignored the wishes of 2,500 people who signed a petition against granting permission for the shop in 2014.

“Residents have made clear time and time and time again they do not want a Sainsbury’s at this site,” Lib Dem Mr Stacy told the Gazette.

The police station was sold off during Boris Johnson’s tenure as London mayor.

Conditions about the maximum size of shops were imposed by the town hall shortly afterwards following a separate application to convert the building.

"Residents have made clear time and time and time again they do not want a Sainsbury’s at this site"

Former Islington Council leader Terry Stacy MBE

Mr Stacy said opponents were told these conditions would make the site unattractive to a chain such as Sainsbury’s, ensuring independent shops would be protected.

He said his former council colleagues had raised concerns at the time that the conditions were not robust enough and their removal could hurt other shops in the area.

“This shop will be to the detriment of local businesses and wider community,” said Mr Stacy.

A statement from Sainsbury’s said up to 20 jobs would be created by the new shop and claimed new stores often resulted in higher, not lower, footfall for shops nearby.

A spokeswoman said: “Our stores aim to complement, not compete with, local businesses.”

A consultation on neighbours’ ends on December 22.

And a “retail impact assessment” ordered by the council as part of the appeal has been presented to town hall bosses.

Sainsbury’s has already been granted an alcohol licence for the building.


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