October 21 2014 Latest news:
Emma Youle and Tom Marshall
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s announced today it has dropped plans for a new store on the edge of Hampstead Heath following a huge community backlash.
Sainsbury’s sparked uproar with its plans to turn four independent shops in South End Road, South End Green, into a Local store, announced three weeks ago.
The supermarket and the landlord of the shopping parade, Dorrington, confirmed the proposal has been dropped this morning.
Garith Brown, senior asset manager at Dorrington, said: “Our plans always included being able to successfully relocate businesses to other parts of the parade.
“Despite discussions with tenants we have been unable to find a solution which works for all parties, including Sainsbury’s, and therefore have had to take the difficult decision not to press ahead with our plans.
“We will continue to work with our occupiers to conclude lease agreements as soon as possible.
“We will continue to explore options to ensure a long term viable future for the parade.”
Caroline Vickerstaff, Sainsbury’s regional acquisitions manager, said: “We are incredibly disappointed that Dorrington have been unable to bring forward plans for a new convenience store.
“We have been in discussions with a number of local people and our plans would have bought further investment, new jobs and greater footfall to the area.
“We will continue to look for new opportunities in the area, so we can bring our fresh quality offer to a growing number of customers.”
Within days of the bid becoming public the local community had begun a huge campaign to fight the plans for a new Sainsbury’s - supported by groups including the South End Green Association and the Hampstead Shops Campaign.
Dozens turned out to express their hostility with placards proclaiming “Painsbury’s” and “Don’t Mess With Hampstead Grrr!”.
High profile supporters from the local area included birdwatcher and broadcaster Bill Oddie, actress Dame Janet Suzman, novelist Deborah Moggach and journalist Amanda Platell.
Some 3,700 people signed a petition demanding a halt to the plans.
It was delivered to Sainsbury’s bosses, including chairman David Tyler, at the supermarket’s annual meeting last week.