Sainsbury's Hampstead shopfront plans revealed as licence granted

A view of the new proposed Sainsbury's for Hampstead High Street

A view of the new proposed Sainsbury's for Hampstead High Street - Credit: Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's bid to open a store in Hampstead High Street took a step forward last week when its premises licence was approved, despite local opposition. 

Now the store has revealed what its news shopfront will look like too - though it is still not expected to open until the autumn.

The retailer's solicitor, Robert Botkai, said although the licensing application referenced 24-hour opening, the chain intends to open 7am to 11pm.

At a meeting on May 20, Camden Council's licensing panel greenlit the plans which will see sale of alcohol permitted between 8am and 11pm each day. The three-councillor panel voted unanimously in favour. 

Representatives from the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum (HNF), the Heath and Hampstead Society (H&HS) and the Hampstead Safer Neighbourhood Panel had raised objections to the store's plans – but Marc Hutchinson chair of the H&HS said it had withdrawn its objection. 

He said there remains "a widespread problem of public drinking both in Hampstead village and on Hampstead Heath, and the fact is large retail outlets like Sainsbury's inevitably contribute to that".

Speaking with the backing of local councillors and the superintendent of Hampstead Heath, he added: "We very much are disappointed that Sainsbury's has declined to take a local lead in reducing their evening alcohol hours."

Linda Chung, of the HNF, said it "made strong objections on the basis a supermarket selling alcohol did not meet licensing objectives". 

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She said Sainsbury's had "brushed aside" concerns about "antisocial behaviour and crime, protection of the public and children and of public nuisance".

Mr Botkai described the HNF's representations to the committee as "one-sided". 

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's is looking to take over the Hampstead High Street unit formerly occupied by Gap

Sainsbury's is seeking to open in Hampstead in Autumn 2021 - Credit: PA / Google

After the meeting in a statement, a Sainsbury's spokesperson said the chain has a "strong track record" in Camden and has engaged with residents and local groups.

They said: "We’re committed to continuing to work with the Hampstead community as we progress our plans and we encourage the community to let us know their thoughts on our planning application once the council registers it for comment."

They added: "We have also worked to ensure our store design is sympathetic to the special nature of Hampstead High Street, as well as giving a nod to our history serving the local community from Heath Street."