CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Concerns for the local fabric of Belsize following Co-op purchase

23 August, 2018

Opponents to the new Co-op store stage a protest in Belsize Park

• WE are very concerned by the news that the Co-op have purchased the lease to what was the restaurant XO in Belsize Village, (‘Save our village’ pleas over Co-Op’s supermarket plan for Belsize Park, August 23).

Belsize Village is a small centre with a community of independent shops which residents have worked for many years to protect. With this in mind, we spoke to the Co-op to find out more about their detailed plans and to express our concern at the possibilities for real disturbance and damage to the local fabric.

Having campaigned against Tesco opening on the corner of Belsize Grove, we understand well the worries that residents rightly have about licensing hours and lorry movements which can blight streets. The ward already suffers from the uncontrolled deliveries occupation of the road and pavement in England’s Lane.

If the Co-op are not able to demonstrate that the store will be operated with minimal impact then there is a serious question over whether it should open.

We have already spoken to a member of the London Assembly, with experience in planning, to see what can be done to address these threats, since the Co-op do not require planning consent to open here.

If the new store cannot be stopped, it is vital Camden uses every tool to ensure the Co-op operation is restricted to acceptable delivery arrangements, reasonable licensing hours, suitable design of the shopfront and a general good neighbourliness. This must all be established without delay.

CLLR STEVE ADAMS
Conservative, Belsize ward

CLLR MARIA HIGSON
Conservative, Hampstead Town ward

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