Sainsbury's lodges FOURTH attempt to open in Highbury Vale police station by appealing Islington Council decision
PUBLISHED: 11:27 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:38 07 February 2019
Sainsbury’s is making a fourth attempt to move into the old Highbury Vale police station – despite the fact the community and the council do not want it there.
The supermarket giant has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after Islington’s planners rejected its application to open its second store in Blackstock Road back in August.
Sainsbury’s – whose slogan for six years was “try something new today” – submitted almost identical plans last year to the ones that had already been rejected by both the council and the Planning Inspectorate in 2017.
Campaigners, who have held protests outside the store, say its arrival would put independent traders out of business and take away valuable road and pavement space due to delivery lorries coming and going throughout the day – the same reason planners gave for refusing it most recently.
Now senior councillors have hit out at the latest appeal.
In a joint statement, Islington’s economy chief, Cllr Asima Shaikh, and housing boss, Cllr Diarmaid Ward, said:“We are deeply disappointed that, once again, Sainsbury’s are ignoring the views of local people and businesses by appealing the refusal of its planning application for a second time.
“We met the landlord earlier this year to urge them to find alternative tenants for the site, but sadly these calls appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
“We will continue to stand-up for local traders against Sainsbury’s attempts to bulldoze its way towards opening yet another store.”
Highbury East’s Green representative Cllr Caroline Russell, the only opposition councillor in Islington, has been campaigning against the store opening since it first lodged plans.
She said: “I’ll be working closely with the Highbury community to stop Sainsbury’s bullying it’s way onto Blackstock Road.
“Highbury’s thriving local high street is filled with a range of small independent shops and doesn’t need a second Sainsbury’s.
“It’s also clear there just isn’t the space for a supermarket on the proposed site. The plans would create a lorry loading bay, just metres away from a nursery. Highbury residents don’t want the lorry danger, increase in air pollution & loss of pavement.”
Arsenal Wine store owner Hitesh Patel says the family run business would be forced to close after 35 years if Sainsbury’s opened and in August told the Gazette: “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.
Sainsbury’s has been contacted for comment.