Search

Bill Oddie and Dame Janet Suzman lead backlash against plans for Sainsbury’s Local in South End Green

07:00 03 July 2014

Traders and residents gather in South End Road to demonstrate their objection to the proposed new Sainsbury's store, which would replace four businesses at 53-57 South End Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Traders and residents gather in South End Road to demonstrate their objection to the proposed new Sainsbury's store, which would replace four businesses at 53-57 South End Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Sainsbury’s is facing a massive community backlash after announcing shock plans to open a store on the edge of Hampstead Heath.

Local resident Bill Oddie gives the thumbs down to the proposed Sainsbury's in South End Road. Picture: Polly HancockLocal resident Bill Oddie gives the thumbs down to the proposed Sainsbury's in South End Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

The supermarket giant has sparked uproar by proposing to turn four independent businesses in South End Road, South End Green, into one of its “local” shops.

Celebrity residents Bill Oddie and Dame Janet Suzman have thrown their weight behind a campaign which sprang up within hours of the news breaking on Friday.

Dozens turned out to express their hostility at a hastily-arranged protest in Saturday morning’s rain.

Broadcaster Mr Oddie, 72, who joined the demonstration, said the supermarket was “not needed, not necessary and not wanted” while actress Dame Janet, 75, branded the scheme “wicked and destructive”.

Belsize Stationers, Polly's Cafe, The Sweet Pea florist and RFFR Charity Shop would all have to make for the Sainsbury's in South End Road. Picture: Polly HancockBelsize Stationers, Polly's Cafe, The Sweet Pea florist and RFFR Charity Shop would all have to make for the Sainsbury's in South End Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

“I’m 100 per cent opposed,” said Mr Oddie, who lives in South End Green. “There’s only one reason, whatsoever, that Sainsbury’s are doing this – they think there’s money to be made out of it. It’s sacrilege.”

The area already has a Marks & Spencer supermarket, in Pond Street, which Mr Oddie said was “not so objectionable” because it replaced a derelict cinema.

Dame Janet railed against the “cloning of the high street” and issued a rallying call, saying: “We must resist this destructive commercial incursion into one of the last remaining villages with any character in all of London.”

Belsize Stationers, which has been in South End Road for 25 years; The Sweet Pea, a family-run florist, and a charity shop raising money for Relief Fund For Romania would all have to make way.

Polly’s Tea Rooms, where Mr Oddie breakfasts nearly every morning, would also have to move or close.

Pat Brothers, 73, manager of Polly’s for the past 18 years, said: “We want to stay, but it sounds like a done deal. I’ve been here so long and I love it. It’s terrible.”

The businesses are in talks with the landlord Dorrington, but Sainsbury’s confirmed it has already signed a deal for the leases.

Matthew Lewin, chairman of the Burgh House Trust and a former editor of the Ham&High, who helped to organise Saturday’s protest, said the loss of four independent businesses will harm South End Green’s “individual character”.

He called the proposal “absurd” and said it would make the area’s traffic and parking problems “intolerable”.

He added: “All we can hope is that Sainsbury’s hears our message loud and clear: ‘We don’t need you, we don’t want you, and we won’t use you!’”

Caroline Vickerstaff, Sainsbury’s regional acquisitions manager, said the company is “aware” of some concerns and hopes to work with the community “to discuss the design of the Sainsbury’s Local to ensure that it is in keeping with the local area and parade”.

She added: “We want to get the plans right and do believe that the shop can bring benefits to the parade and other traders, such as additional footfall.”

Garith Brown, from Dorrington, said: “We will continue to work with tenants over the coming weeks to understand their individual requirements.

“We have already started to discuss possible options with them, including relocation on the parade.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

A shopkeeper has defended his novelty gift shop after it has been boycotted by shoppers who branded it ‘pro-Brexit’ and ‘racist’

Yesterday, 18:44

We have created this moving tribute video of the heartwarming day a community came together and marched to free West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe from jail in Iran.

Yesterday, 17:38

As plans to demolish a well-loved Highgate community centre are put forward, neighbours are making their opinions clear to council planners

Tue, 19:23

A former London Metropolitan University lecturer is looking to inspire the next generation of architects with a series of early years workshops in Islington.

Tue, 17:05

Starting university is something new, big and exciting, whether you are moving to a new city or another country.

Tue, 16:08

British Transport Police are appealing for witnesses to incident which resulted in a woman falling onto the tracks.

Tue, 15:53

The company has been fined £500,000 after an engineer was injured plunging down a lift shaft at the disused South Kentish Town station.

Tue, 09:59

Haringey Council agreed to take in 10 families earlier this month, but is now calling for kind-hearted homeowners to find space to host them

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now