Mayor Phil Glanville backs campaigners fighting demolition of Hoxton Street Iceland
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:00 07 October 2018
Hackney mayor Phil Glanville has supported campaigners in their fight to save the Hoxton Street Iceland from demolition, saying it’s the only affordable supermarket in the area.
Mr Glanville has written to his planners to express concerns over the plan to demolish the building and turn it into luxury flats with no affordable housing.
Developers Blair Estates have submitted plans to build 25 homes on the site. Talk have been held with Iceland about moving back in once work is finished, but Mr Glanville said even a temporary closure would cause “major disruption”.
“Iceland is an important retailer on Hoxton high street,” he wrote. “It is heavily used by the local residents and is the only affordable supermarket in the area.”
Former Hoxton councillor Mr Glanville, who lived in Hoxton Street, has also signed a petition against the plans. He added: “Our recently adopted community strategy was clear. We want a borough where communities can benefit from growth, and residents can benefit from increased local prosperity.”
He added: “Without Iceland remaining a tenant in future retail space on this site, and the developers meeting our minimum expectations for affordable homes, the developing conflicts with that strategy.”
On Friday the Gazette spoke with shoppers, who were not happy about the prospect of having to travel further to get their groceries.
Agnes Johnson, 40, already has little time between working and looking after her four-year-old daughter.
She said: “After I pick my child up we just quickly grab things, then we go home. But now we will have to travel to Hackney central to do shopping.”
She added: “I will have to buy a bus pass, and the time, it’s going to affect us a lot.”
Living with a disability, David Manning, 72, spoke of how the closure would cause him difficulty: “It would mean I’d have to get a bus go all the way to Dalston which is just crazy.”
Customer Christine Russell, 68, was more forthright, describing the closure as “totally disgusting.”
“This place is for people that don’t have a lot of money,” she said “It’s a place to get cheap food as well. It’s going to hurt the people that have no money.”
Next to Iceland, the Finstead Pharmacy will also be demolished, forcing them to move to a new location down the road.
Owner Rafique Adam said: “We would like to stay here and continue as normal.
“We had plans to improve our facilities and everything else and now we can’t do this until we move into the new place.”