Hundreds sign petition against Sainsbury’s bid for new store in Highgate

Nine hundred people - including comedian Les Dennis - have signed a petition against Sainsbury’s opening a store in Highgate which could put a popular newsagents out of business.

Northwood Dairy, in Northwood Road, has been run by the Patel family for nearly 30 years but they fear the Sainsbury’s Local planned for Archway Road will take away trade.

The family has started a petition against the plans which hundreds of residents have signed.

Jay Patel, who co-owns the shop with his brother Hari, said: “We are the only newsagents in the area so this is really going to affect us.

“My family will be hit the hardest because it means not only might we have to close up shop but also move our home.

“We know everybody who comes in here and the shop is a hub in the community. It would be a great shame to go after 30 years.”

The Archway Road site, near the junction with Cholmeley Park, used to be a car repair garage called Mr Clutch but last year an application was submitted to Haringey Council to change its use to a retail space.

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But Mr Patel says he and many other residents and businesses were not consulted on this.

“No-one has contacted us,” he said. “Yet we are the ones who will be affected. Sainsbury’s will sell everything we sell. It will put us out of business.”

Residents including Judith Bennett, of Holmesdale Road, Highgate, have been rallying support to save their favourite local shop.

The 44-year-old, who has lived in Highgate for 13 years, said there was no need for another supermarket.

She said: “The small retailers in our community already provide what we need, but more than this, they are the hub of the community.

“These shops represent a friendly and familiar face and someone to speak to every day.

“They are a place where people stop to chat, pass on local information, share news of families and friends and catch up with local residents. This supermarket would bring an end to this.”

The Sainsbury’s Local would open from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week. The planning application is expected to be submitted soon.

A spokeswoman said: “The proposed store is well located for Highgate Tube station and will meet the needs of local people while complementing many local businesses.

“We have been conducting our own consultation on the proposals – alongside Haringey Council’s public consultation.

“While we are aware that some concerns have been voiced over the scheme, the majority of our respondents have welcomed the plans and suggested that a new store at the site would be positive addition to the area.”