Resubmission of ‘virtually unchanged’ plans for supermarket and flats in Stoke Newington sparks resident’s anger

This a North East view of the current scheme

This a North East view of the current scheme - Credit: Archant

Developers have resubmitted unpopular plans for a Sainsbury’s and flats overlooking a much-loved landmark in Stoke Newington – without making any real concessions, campaigners have claimed.

In February, Newmark Properties submitted an application for a five-storey building overlooking Abney Park cemetery featuring 66 flats and a store. Thousands of residents signed a petition to oppose the move, which was defeated in April.

However, last month the developer resubmitted plans which still feature a large Sainsbury’s and 53 flats – increasing the size of properties and only reducing the proportions of the development by a maximum of 3.2 metres – on the corner of Stoke Newington High Street and Wilmer Place.

The developer has also decreased the boundary wall by between 1.2 and 1.6 metres.

Nick Perry, spokesman of Stokey Local, said: “This is a token gesture and we can’t believe they have the gall to put it in. The application looks like a spot the difference competition.

“The side that faces into the cemetery has had the tiniest wafer shaved off it and the rest of the changes comprise tweaking a couple of balconies. It’s still as massive and as damaging to the ecology as it was before.

“At this rate we could be in for a 10-year fight before we get something acceptable.”

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Dr Jane Holgate, of Hackney Planning Watch, said: “Essentially the current application is not significantly different from the previous application so all the concerns we had still stand.

“It’s a little further away from Abney Cemetery, but the bulk of the development will still have a major impact on the wildlife and ecology of the cemetery and people’s ability to enjoy the amenity as the development will overshadow it.”

“A lot of people are unclear as to what the changes are. We will organise a public response.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for heritage organisation Hackney Society said: “English Heritage still think it’s too massive.”

A spokesman for Newmark Properties said it “remains passionate about the project and the regeneration benefits it will bring to Hackney residents and to the Stoke Newington area.”

He added: “After carefully considering the reasons for refusal we have submitted a revised application which aims to fully address the issues raised.”

The consultation period officially closes today but the council will accept comments up until the planning application meeting, which is scheduled for July.