CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Protesters against a Co-op supermarket in Belsize Village do not speak for all residents

06 September, 2018

• PROTESTERS against the prospect of a Co-op store in Belsize Village must not think that they speak for all the local residents, (‘Save our village’ pleas over Co-op’s supermarket plan for Belsize Park, August 23).

I am a loyal shopper in the village but also a Co-op supporter. Going regularly from Belsize Park to the Co-op in Adelaide Road for necessary purchases which the village does not provide.

I would very much appreciate a nearer Co-op store. I might even make more frequent visits and purchases elsewhere in the village if I was saved my journey to Adelaide Road.

Do I detect a vein of snobbishness in the protesters’ speaking of threats to “atmosphere” and “good neighbourliness” from a Co-op opening in the premises of the former XO restaurant (I notice that Conservative councillors figure prominently in this campaign)?

When they worry about a store being open during “licensing hours” do they forget that not so long ago there was a (much-missed) pub, the Belsize Tavern, in the same place?

Seeing that the Co-op has already been responding to some of their fears I have every confidence that it will listen to reasonable representation on matters of scale and design for a shop that will not be a “supermarket” but a convenience store barely larger than one or two present businesses.

ALAN BROWNJOHN
Belsize Park, NW3

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