Sainsbury’s plans for Stoke Newington town centre ‘could threaten independent shops’

Plans for a new supermarket in the heart of Stoke Newington could threaten the town centre’s independent businesses, residents and traders fear.

Sainsbury’s wants to build a new food store in the car park behind 195-201 Stoke Newington High Street, which would see the existing shops and homes in this stretch demolished.

The proposals are understood to include a 2,200 square metre groundfloor store, which is slightly larger than the chain’s current premises in Stamford Hill, along with 94 underground parking spaces and 44 flats.

Customers would enter from Stoke Newington High Street, with deliveries arriving in Wilmer Place, off Stoke Newington Church Street.

The plans have not yet been submitted to Hackney Council’s planning department but are already causing concern among many traders, shoppers and residents in the area.

Suzy Roston, who has lived in Dumont Road for 24 years and runs a listings website, said: “Stoke Newington is really special and it would be really terrible to get this big Sainsbury’s in such a completely inappropriate place.”

And Gail Chester, 60, who lives off Manor Road, Stamford Hill, said: “Communities consist of human relationships these small businesses are run by families that deserve our support – it’s a way of resisting multi-national corporations and the uniformity they impose.”

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But Rosanne Berry, chairwoman of Stoke Newington Business Association, said traders should not dismiss the idea straight away.

“Initially everyone was saying they did not want the Sainsbury’s because Stoke Newington did not need another food store.

“But we do need something to draw people to the area. I’m concerned it might take business away from some of our local independent shops and there is the parking issue. There is also going to be a lot of disruption while the work is going on. But I would like to think people will consider it fully and not say they don not want it just because it’s a chain.”

A spokesman for developers Newmark Properties and sainsbury’s said the store would create 200 new jobs and provide businesses with much-needed parking space.

He invited residents to share their views at a forthcoming exhibition, at a date to be set.