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


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 News Stories

Yesterday, 12:22
The Mayor of Haringey Cllr Jennifer Mann, signs Hornsey Pensioners Action group's Dignity Action Day petition  calling for Better Care Now! Photo: Nigel Sutton

Intrepid members of Hornsey Pensioners’ Action Group braved Storm Henry to call for the rights of elderly people as part of Dignity Action Day on February 1.

Yesterday, 12:00
The Highgate Society debated the economics of austerity with Vicky Pryce, and Ewen Stewart with students, Benedict Milner from Highgate School and Zelda Feldman from La Sainte Union School.

Vicky Pryce, the Greek-born economist who was jailed for perverting the course of justice, told an audience in Highgate last night that austerity is not the answer to the UK’s economic problems.

Yesterday, 08:08
Lynne Featherstone celebrates the release of her book Equal Ever After outoside the House of Lords. Photo: Polly Hancock

Lynne Featherstone, former MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, didn’t waste much time after losing her seat in the Lib Dem cull of last year’s general election.

Yesterday, 08:00
The Queen Mother opening the hospice

It is a national charity which traces its roots to Hampstead – and now it is appealing for new recruits in its hospice.

Fri, 18:29
Headteacher John Dowd spoke at the tribunal. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An employment tribunal has today rejected a former teaching assistant’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her disability.

Fri, 17:42
James Flanagan was jailed for the assault

A Kentish Town man has been jailed for a “sustained, cowardly and vicious” attack which left a top sports journalist in a coma.

Fri, 15:39
The proposed strike has been called off Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A 48-hour Tube strike due to start tomorrow evening has been called off.

Most read news


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


Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today