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

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

18 minutes ago
Mary Langan with her 23-year-old son, James

Carers of adults with demential and disabilities are demanding change after a report revealed there is a “breakdown of trust” on the Haringey boards designed to represent them.

Yesterday, 17:14
Nina Martynchyk with her foster mother, Nina B

A young woman who overcame anorexia is organising a conference with the Royal Free Hospital to draw attention to how the condition affects children and teenagers

Yesterday, 16:01
Highgate School

Students and staff at Highgate school were reflecting on a very impressive set of GCSE results today, with 88.2 percent of exams receiving a grade of A* or A.

Yesterday, 12:41
Hampstead School is in Westbere Road (Pic credit: Google streetview)

The Hampstead School has once again seen its GCSE results improve today, with nearly a quarter of all grades receiving an A* or A grade.

Yesterday, 11:53
Hornsey School for Girls

Girls at Hornsey School for Girls were today collecting some stellar GCSE results.

Yesterday, 11:44
Sam White has praised William Ellis pupils

The headteacher of William Ellis school, Sam White, was full of praise for his students today after a promising set of GCSE results.

Yesterday, 10:56
UCS school

University College School was today celebrating the second best set of GCSE results in its history, with a remarkable 88.6 percent of exams achieving either an A* or A grade.

Yesterday, 06:00
GCSE results are out tomorrow

Teenagers across the country face one of the most nerve-racking days of their young lives today with the publication of GCSE results.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

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

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

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