The Metropolis

Stokey Sainsburys - is it time to make a stand against supermarkets?

Mike Pollitt | Thursday 14 July, 2011 12:04

Last night somewhere around 150 people went to a meeting in Stoke Newington to share their thoughts on a new Sainsburys in the middle of their patch. There’s a lot of opposition, including a website and a petition. So the question is, should the development go ahead? On the one hand there’s 200 jobs and a new reasonably priced store. On the other, the future of independent shops, local diversity and community pride.

Here is a map of the proposed location (red), along with existing supermarkets in the area. The dotted flags are superstores, the plain flags are Express/Local/minisupermarkets.

View Stokey Sainsburys in a larger map

One look at this should tell you that the new development isn’t needed. If people in the area want to shop at supermarkets, they already have plenty of chance to do so. I daresay there’s a strong financial argument for a new supermarket wherever one is proposed, but aren’t we finally getting smart enough to take more into account than that? The time has come to strike a balance, and stop the erosion of local identities. Stokey is a place of prams and health shops, organic smoothies and tofu sandwiches. That is its nature, and like any community identity it’s worth fighting to protect. It’s time to take a stand.

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