Petition launched against Sainsbury’s plan to open in Belsize Park

Campaigners lobbied against the Sainsbury's plans

Campaigners lobbied against the Sainsbury's plans - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Residents have today set up a petition objecting to plans for Sainsbury’s to open a new store in Belsize Park

As revealed exclusively by the Ham&High yesterday, the supermarket giant is planning to open a store on the site of the former burned down Good For You toy shop in Haverstock Hill.

The petition to Sainsbury’s bosses says: “We, the undersigned residents of Belsize Park, wish to object to your proposed opening of a Sainsbury’s Local store at 192 Haverstock Hill, beside Belsize Park Tube station.

“We believe that this site is totally unsuitable for this type of store.”

It says the store will cause problems for the area due to deliveries and waste, litter, noise and claims it contradicts Camden Council’s policies for the area.

Actress Dame Janet Suzman, who lives in Keats Grove, has already signed the petition and says: “Local traders will suffer and we have quite enough food retailers already.”

Hampstead campaigner Linda Chung said: “This site is not suitable to have a chain supermarket. It was meant for affordable housing to be built above much needed independent small shops.

Another signatory Samir Touat writes: “Sainsbury’s local will not add any value to the Belsize Park community. We currently have enough community friendly local shops and businesses.

“There is undisputed evidence that Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s “local” bring obstruction to the flow of traffic, dirt, noise, and an unfair competition to independent and environmentally friendly businesses. We don’t need any more of the monopolists profit seekers to invade all aspects of our lives. Enough is Enough.”

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The revelation came in a new planning application from developers building a six-storey block of five flats and a retail unit on the site in Haverstock Hill to increase the height and width of the ground floor unit.

The application says: “The retail unit tenant is Sainsbury’s Local. The layout has been developed with their architects.”

Sasha Traders won planning permission in 2013 to develop the site next to a narrow road which leads to The Globe Tennis club, The Royal Free Hospital, The Woodland Walk nature reserve and the Russell Nurseries housing estate, But there was no mention then of plans for a Sainsburys Local to occupy the space.

The site is currently empty after the former toy shop was destroyed by fire in June 2014.

Harold Horwitz, of the Russell Nurseries Tenants and Residents Association said: “I am deeply concerned about the new proposals. This is not what the original planner sold to us and to Camden - his was a green vision of a pleasant, eco-saving neighbourly addition.

“I believe this has become contorted and is motivated by greed and is contrary to our community values and shared peace and happiness within this green and pleasant catchment area.”

He added: “The impact of new use of the building, namely a Sainsbury’s supermarket, will make this space even more impossible to maintain, with rubbish and noise, pollution and the presence of delivery vans trying to get down an already blind spot narrow roadway.”

As reported in the Ham&High, Tesco shelved plans to open a store on the corner of Haverstock Hill and Belsize Grove last May following a huge public outcry.

In July 2014 Sainsbury withdrew plans to open a store in nearby South End Green after thousands signed online and paper petitions opposing the scheme,

See the petition here