Sainsbury’s planning to open ANOTHER store minutes away from controversial Blackstock Road site

Neighbours protest against Sainsbury's in Blackstock Road back in 2016. Picture: Dieter Perry

Neighbours protest against Sainsbury's in Blackstock Road back in 2016. Picture: Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

Sainsbury’s has already angered the Highbury community with plans for a second Blackstock Road branch – now the chain wants to open ANOTHER store half a mile away.

The supermarket’s ongoing effort to put a “Local” store in the old Highbury Vale Police Station in Islington - and the widespread outrage it has caused – have been well documented in the Gazette.

Campaigners want to protect independent shops and say deliveries will block the pavement.

And they were left outraged last month when the supermarket returned with another application, having already been turned down twice.

Now, the Gazette can reveal, the chain also has applications in for a Local store in the luxury Clissold Quarter development on the redeveloped King’s Crescent Estate – just a 10 minute walk over the border into Hackney.

Hitesh Patel runs Arsenal Wines, yards from the old police station. His family has owned the shop for more than 35 years, but Hitesh knows the shop won’t survive should Sainsbury’s move in there, let alone in the Clissold Quarter.

“I did a search and there was 20 Sainsbury’s in a two-mile radius. How many do you need? Seriously, it’s ridiculous.

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“It’s like America where there’s a Starbucks on every corner.

“All the councillors are saying they want to help struggling businesses but if they authorise these big companies to move in how is anyone supposed to compete?”

Hitesh said a survey that was done last year with neighbouring businesses included charity shops, a book shop and a restaurant. But neither he now his neighbours were asked about the plans.

Highbury East’s Cllr Caroline Russell has been campaigning against the store since 2016. On the latest development, she said: “It’s predatory behaviour by a supermarket that has a business model based on small supermarket shops that depend on using the public realm for loading and supplies.

“These small shops where they don’t have rear access disrupts the high streets and they really don’t contribute to the community.”

The existing Local branch on the other side of Blackstock Road is also technically in Hackney, and therefore wasn’t even acknowledged in an “impact assessment” last year that outlined how the store would affect the Finsbury Park area.