M&S takeover for Muswell Hill Broadway
FOODSTORE giant Marks and Spencer plans to dramatically expand its Muswell Hill store along the high street, writes Robyn Rosen. And the supermarket, which has been in Muswell Hill Broadway since 1989, will demolish adjoining independent shop and cafe C
FOODSTORE giant Marks and Spencer plans to dramatically expand its Muswell Hill store along the high street, writes Robyn Rosen.
And the supermarket, which has been in Muswell Hill Broadway since 1989, will demolish adjoining independent shop and cafe Crocodile Antiques, to make room for the expansion.
Residents and traders are shocked at the plans and are concerned it will lead to business taken from smaller, independent shops, heightened congestion and will affect the look of the street.
The plans, to be submitted to the council in June, also include:
o A 4,000 sq ft extension to the store which will widen the selection of food and non-food items.
o Six new apartments to be built above the extension and three refurbished apartments
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Anthony Shapland, from M&S, said: "The regeneration of the upper parts of the building will provide residential accommodation in a unique property."
But Samantha Williams, of Bakers of Muswell Hill, said: "It will really affect our business as an independent baker. Muswell Hill is turning into one chain after the other. It used to be nice independent shops and businesses supporting one another."
Muswell Hill councillors, Gail Engert and Martin Newton, fear a larger M&S will attract more cars and that the car park should be adapted to stop rat-running. Others are concerned about the relocation of a much-loved independent store. Crocodile Antiques, which M&S own the freehold of, has been in the same spot for 17 years and owner Chris Ostwald is concerned that its relocation could mean heightened rents and less business. But Mr Shapland said he is "committed" to helping the store, adding: "We will not begin this project until they have been relocated."
Pat Bloomfield, planning officer at the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Residents' Association, said: "A lot of us will be sad to lose the cafe and independent shop to a chain. The plans include a long facade of glass which is not in keeping with the character in the street.