‘Bul­ly­ing Sains­bury’s have had it too good’

Pro­test­ers an­gry at gi­ants block­ing £100m plan

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PRO­TEST­ERS gath­ered out­side Sains­bury’s in South Ruis­lip over the com­pany’s at­tempt to block a £100mil­lion devel­op­ment.

Around 25 mem­bers of the public waved plac­ards and ban­ners read­ing ‘Stop Sains­bury’s Bul­ly­ing’ out­side the su­per­mar­ket, in Long Lane, on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 28.

They chanted slo­gans at­tack­ing the re­tailer’s de­ci­sion to launch a ju­di­cial re­view of the process through which the devel­op­ment of the nearby for­mer dairy site won plan­ning per­mis­sion.

One of the or­gan­is­ers was Guy Wood­ward, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Ivy Fa­cil­i­ties Limited, which has been con­tracted to work on the project.

Mr Wood­ward, 55, of Hart­land Drive, South Ruis­lip, who worked at the dairy for 14 years as fa­cil­i­ties manager, said the devel­op­ment and its con­struc­tion would cre­ate much-needed jobs for lo­cal peo­ple.

He added: “There is a hate for Sains­bury’s and their block­ing. The story was the same from every­body – we need to have com­pe­ti­tion.

“Sains­bury’s have had it too good for too long.”

Re­tired stenog­ra­pher Pamela Bowrah, 71, of Queens Walk, South Ruis­lip, who has lived in the area since 1966, said: “We feel that the Arla site needs to go ahead now, with­out de­lay, and Sains­bury’s are do­ing just that.

“The area badly needs re­gen­er­a­tion and Sains­bury’s are stop­ping that for their own profit.”

The plans in­volve build­ing a 40,000sqft Asda su­per­mar­ket, a cinema com­plex, five restau­rants, 14 houses and 118 flats at the derelict Arla Foods site, in Vic­to­ria Road.

Hilling­don Coun­cil gave plan­ning per­mis­sion for the project last year.

The de­ci­sion was up­held by both the Mayor of Lon­don and the gov­ern­ment’s plan­ning min­is­ter and work had been sched­uled to start next month.

But Sains­bury’s now wants to chal­lenge ‘a num­ber of is­sues’ it says were not prop­erly ad­dressed dur­ing the plan­ning process.

Ci­ty­grove Se­cu­ri­ties PLC, the firm be­hind the plans, says the legal process could de­lay the project by up to a year, or po­ten­tially even stop it from go­ing ahead al­to­gether.

The su­per­mar­ket gi­ant was given plan­ning per­mis­sion to dou­ble the size of its South Ruis­lip store in 2006 and hopes to re­ceive fur­ther per­mis­sion to build a tem­po­rary store while de­mo­li­tion and re­build­ing work is be­ing car­ried out.

Post­man Jim Field, who at­tended the protest, said: “They want to have their cake and eat it.

“They had the op­por­tu­nity in 2006 to re­de­velop their store.

“They chose not to do that and we just re­ally need some­thing else in this area.”

Mr Field, 55, of Rose­mary Av­enue, South Har­row, added: “We sup­port the devel­op­ment.

“We want fa­cil­i­ties for lo­cal peo­ple and for lo­cal young­sters to have some­where to go, be­cause at the mo­ment they haven’t got any­thing.”

Ci­ty­grove wants res­i­dents to write to Sains­bury’s bosses com­plain­ing.

Nearly 400 have al­ready signed an on­line pe­ti­tion, ac­cord­ing to the de­vel­oper.

For de­tails, visit www. c i t yg r o v e s o u t h r u i s l i p. com.

Photo by Ben Phillips

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