CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

There is simply no room for a supermarket in our village

13 September, 2018

Linda Grove: ‘Small businesses are being destroyed up and down the country’

• THE two doubters who attacked residents in Belsize Village with a list of adjectives are wrong, (I think this opposition to the Co-op is snobbism, and Protesters against a Co-op supermarket in Belsize Village do not speak for all residents, September 6). Very wrong as to why we want to protect our village and I wonder what they do to support the good folk in our community?

They need to see the faces and talk to our friends Ali, Alon, Mathew, Dave, Laura and they loyal staff they employ in our village shops, to hear what they have to say. Do they know the high rents and business rates they pay?

Any supermarket can sell more cheaply because they can bulk buy and negotiate lower prices for our farmers often bullying them. If your correspondent Joseph Zarfaty can’t afford the prices in Belsize Village, he has plenty of cheaper shops and supermarkets to go to where rents and rates aren’t so high.

Any supermarket will have not just trade ramifications for our friends but the congestion from-their five-times-a-day deliveries and the school traffic will be trebly awful. I suggest Joseph Zarfaty and Alan Brownjohn go to the XO spot at 3.15pm and see for themselves.

There is no parking in the village and the people who pass through the village are the mums who don’t live here, coming from areas like Kilburn and Willesden, on the school run to the private schools.

They can’t stop, the traffic wardens do very well here, an assistant stands outside St Christopher school, opens the car door and the children jump out quickly. The same is true for the Montessori and Lyndhurst schools.

We are surrounded by three supermarkets in the right place, Haverstock Hill and the Finchley Road. They have large car parks where we park and shop. Belsize Lane has a very small footfall and is not a suitable space for any supermarket whether it be Waitrose or the Co-op.

Small businesses are being destroyed up and down the country. We need these community shops, where folk walk and talk keeping them well.

Our small area is friendly we know the traffic wardens, street cleaners and our neighbours by name as they know ours. We know about each other’s live. We chat about where we are going on holiday to whom needs help in our community.

Our community got together to create a free school, Abacus, for our children, a walk to school community primary school. We volunteer to do the gardens on Pond Street and outside the Royal Free Hospital. We have a garden for Nazanin so I do not accept that we are not a caring and supporting community for everyone.

We in Belsize Village are guardians for the next generation and we need to be involved and take care of our community and environment and watch out what’s happening. There simple is no room physically for a supermarket in Belsize Village. None at all.

LINDA GROVE
Belsize Lane, NW3

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