New '24-hour' Hampstead Sainsbury’s faces alcohol sales objections

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

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's is looking to take over the Hampstead High Street unit formerly occupied by Gap - Credit: PA / Google

Sainsbury’s faces objections over its opening hours and the times during which it hopes to sell alcohol at a new store.

The supermarket plans to open at 35 Hampstead High Street – previously occupied by Gap – and Camden's licensing panel is set to meet on Thursday (May 20) to make a decision on its application.

Sainsbury's has applied for 24-hour opening, but alcohol would be sold from 8am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 10.30pm on Sundays, with the chain saying those hours are in line with Camden's policies. 

The Met Police withdrew an objection after the the company agreed to enforce a policy of asking for ID from anyone who looks younger than 25; install cameras over the entrance; and ensure no beer or cider stronger than 5.5% is sold.  

Chair of the Heath and Hampstead Society Marc Hutchinson initially objected, based on Camden's policy on antisocial behaviour.

“The reason we’re withdrawing our objection is because we don’t think we will succeed as other outlets in Hampstead have late night hours within the framework hours so it is unlikely that the panel will restrict Sainsbury’s,” said Marc, who will still address the meeting to raise antisocial behaviour concerns. 

Susan West submitted an objection on behalf of Hampstead Town Safer Neighbourhood, which she chairs, writing: “The availability of cheap alcohol late into the evening will ensure that people who have drunk too much continue drinking and hang around the high street creating, noise, disturbance and engaging in anti-social behaviour.”  

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A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We’ve been meeting with residents and community leaders to discuss our plans and any concerns they may have and will continue to do so. We want to invest in the Hampstead community and are committed to working with them now and into the future.” 

Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum has objected, saying the "application is inappropriate for a conservation area of special unique historical character", as well as over the hours of opening and alcohol sales. 

However, chair Stephen Taylor, told the Ham&High:  “I understand the concerns being raised about antisocial street drinking; however, my broader view is that the forum is looking forward to a time when the high street becomes a more agreeable and social place for street drinking. This will require a lot less traffic, so we are not at that place yet.”