'Save Hoxton's Iceland store': Thousands back campaign

Employees outside Iceland's Hoxton store

Employees from Iceland’s Hoxton store are some of the Hackney residents opposing plans to close it down. - Credit: Iceland Hoxton

Thousands of local residents have objected to plans to close down an Iceland food store in Hoxton Street.

Over 2,300 residents signed a community letter objecting to proposals to close Iceland and redevelop its store on Hoxton street. 

Evan Shahriar, Hackney resident and manager of the Hoxton Street store, said: “Most of my staff live in Hackney and are desperate to save the store, they are really worried it is going to be lost."

Blair Estates Limited , has had to apply again to demolish the building and redevelop the Iceland site, after delays in the process caused by the cyber attack against the council. 

The application will be heard at the council's planning sub committee tonight (June 2).

The plans include retail space and 25 private flats. The development would include blocks ranging from three to five stories.

A total of 303 notification letters were sent to neighbours and interested parties, and the council received six objections. 

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Concerns include the "excessive scale" of the building in relation to its surroundings, the loss of the existing Iceland store which "will deprive the local community of a low-cost supermarket" and the blocking of views of Hoxton Gardens.

 As well as the letter from the community, the council received an earlier petition signed by about 1,000 people. 

Both refer to Iceland as a "community asset" but in the meeting documents, a planning officer says: "A retail store of this size is not be deemed a community asset in planning terms."

Hackney residents and Iceland employees such as Paige Sullivan disagree.

“We see on a daily basis the contribution which the store makes to the community," she said.

"We have been here for over 25 years, and the store would be greatly missed by local customers, many of whom are elderly or vulnerable and who rely on us as a healthy, affordable, and friendly service."

Hackney council said it was unable to comment at this stage until the agenda is heard at the planning sub committee at 6.30pm on June 2.