Row over Space NK in Primrose Hill rages on

The battle against chain shops in Primrose Hill raged on as campaigners stood outside Space NK with a sign protesting the shops arrival on the exclusive high street.

The beauty and make-up shop opened on Friday (December 7) following a month long campaign against their arrival had- gained the support of celebrities including designer Sadie Frost, singer Rachel Stevens and director Sam Taylor-Johnson. The petition, started in November, was signed by more than 5,000 people.

The Primrose Hill Conservation Committee is also concerned that work has begun on the new shop front. Space NK has applied for planning permission but this has not been approved by Camden Council.

Pam White, vice-chairwoman of the committee said: “We are strongly opposed to people jumping the gun and working without planning permission.”

Space NK has been asked by the council to stop work on the front of the building.

Cllr Valerie Leach, cabinet member for regeneration and growth said: “They do not have the necessary consents until their application has been determined. The consultation period for the application ends today (Thursday) and until a decision is made a planning officer will monitor the site.”

Phil Cowan, who started the petition, said that although campaigners have lost this first battle the fight will go on.

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He said: “It’s not just about Space NK, it’s also about persuading other chains not to open here. The campaign does continue.

‘‘There are still three empty spaces [in the high street] and we don’t know what is going to be there.”

The campaigners also held up a sign with details of the companies’ financial accounts. A spokeswoman from Space NK said the figures were correct but misleading.

She said: “Space NK is absolutely scrupulous about paying our taxes in the UK. So while these figures are correct they are misleading when taken out of context.

“Corporation tax is paid on a company’s profit, not on the total turnover from which salaries, rents and so forth are paid. Space NK paid just under �7.5million in business taxes to the British government last year.”