Stoke Newington Basket Comparison Results: Sainsbury’s not the cheap option

At the end of 2011, one of the Stokey Local working groups conducted some surveys of shops. The first of these was the basket comparison which compared the costs of Sainsbury's against a range of local independent shops as well as Tesco and Morrisons.

In the majority of cases (17 out of 25 items) local shops provide a cheaper option than Sainsbury's, there was similar pricing for 2 out of 25 items and for 5 items local shops do not provide a cheaper alternative to Sainsburys. In the 5 cases where Sainsbury's was cheaper than local shops, Tesco or Morrisons provided a cheaper option than Sainsbury's. 

This survey showed quite clearly that Sainsbury's do not offer the cheapest food options, something that runs counter to the image created in their advertising. Once again we strongly encourage the people of Stoke Newignton to support their local shops not just because they make Stoke Newington a more interesting place to live, but because they offer good quality food at very competitive prices. 

The summary results of the basket comparison survey are below and more detailed information about the prices can be found here. We will also be publishing the results of a survey of local shopkeepers soon. Our thanks go to Lucy for organising these surveys.

Costs of Sainsburys items compared to local shops, and Tesco and Morrisons

Bread – Similar pricing.

Tomatoes (loose)  – Consistently cheaper in local shops.

Organic potatoes, organic spinach and organic red onions – Not widely available in local shops. However the organic farmers market is considerably cheaper on potatoes and spinach, and the same price for onions.

Fairy liquid  – Similar pricing.

Disposable razors – Similar pricing.

Smoked haddock and fresh sardines – Slightly more expensive in local shops. Tescos provides cheaper smoked haddock.

Butter – For leading brand Kerrygold Sainburys is cheaper. For other brands, local shops can provide cheaper options.

Rice – Sainsburys is cheaper than the local shops, but Morrisons is even cheaper.

Eggs (Free Range) – Local shops are considerably cheaper.

Eggs (not Free Range) – Sainsburys is cheaper than the local shops, but not as cheap as Morrisons.

Chickpeas (own brand) – Local shops are consistently cheaper than Sainsburys.

Tinned tomatoes – Local shops are consistently cheaper than Sainsburys.

Nappies (Pampers Babydry 22) – Local shops are consistently cheaper than Sainsburys, as are Morrisons.

Toilet (Roll x 4) – Local shops are consistently cheaper than Sainsburys, as are Morrisons and Tescos.

Feta (200g) – Local shops are more expensive, but Morrisons and Tescos are cheaper.

Yoghurt (500g plain) – Local shops tend to be the same price or cheaper.

Tea (Yorkshire 80 bags, and own brand 80 bags) – Local shops are consistently cheaper than Sainsburys, as are Morrisons and Tescos.

Milk – Available cheaper in Morrisons, and at least two local shops.

Bananas (per kilo) – Slightly more expensive at local shops

Stella (4 pack) – Considerably cheaper at local shops and at Morrisons and Tescos

Bacon (per kilo) – Local shops are slightly more expensive, Tescos and Morrisons are cheaper.

Chicken breast fillet (per kilo) – The local butcher is cheaper, as is Tescos and Morrisons.

Apples – Cheaper at Tescos and Morrisons, and considerably cheaper at many local shops

Mint (bunch) – Considerably cheaper at local shops.

Parsley (bunch) – Considerably cheaper at local shops.

Red Pepper (per kilo) – Considerably cheaper at local shops.


Planning application submitted on 13th July

On 13th July the developers submitted a planning application to Hackney Council's Planning Office. Stokey Local became aware of the existence of the application on 18th July. 

There will be a delay between submitting the application and it appearing on the Hackney planning website as it has to be validated before it is made public. This process is quite normal and often takes a few weeks for more complex applications such as this one. So far no documents have been posted on the Hackney planning website. 

We will keep you up to date with developments as the application progresses and will be providing information which will help you to make a submission to the planning office. 

The best way to stay in touch is to sign up to our mailing list at the top of the right hand side of this page.

Update from Local Councillors

Later today we will be posting a summary of the public meeting which was held last night, but in the meantime here is a repost (copied in full from We Love Stoke Newington and LordshipN16) of an update from the local councillors involved in discussions with the developer.

The post goes into some detail about their concerns with the proposal:


This is cross posted on the Lordship Labour councillorsblog as we are working together over this important local issue. 
By now many of you will have seen the latest proposals to develop Wilmer Place, either at the recent exhibition or on the developer’s website

While we have been pleased that many of the issues we raised last year have been taken on board, there are still a number of important issues and concerns that we want to see addressed.These are:

1.    Ensuring the maximum provision of affordable housing;
2.    Offering the best possible employment opportunities for local people;
3.    Reducing the impact of the development on Abney Park and the Stoke Newington Conservation Area;
4.    Offering support for the tenants of Wilmer Place who face eviction as a result of the development;
5.    Providing support to local businesses that may be affected by the opening of a new Sainsbury’s store; and 
6.    Limiting the access delivery vehicles will have to Wilmer Place.

We will be working on these issues throughout the planning process to ensure that it achieves the best possible outcome for the residents and businesses of Stoke Newington. A formal planning application for the development is still expected towards the end of June.

We have provided further information on each of the issues set out above.

1. Affordable Housing

You will be aware that the proposal is for a mixed residential and commercial development. 

Whereas the size of the proposed Sainsbury’s store has been reduced from 24,000 square foot to 16,000 square foot, the overall bulk of the building has not changed. The additional space made available by having a smaller store will be used to provide more flats. 

It is currently proposed that the development will include 68 flats in total (14×1, 33×2 & 21×3 beds) – this is an increase from 44 flats in the original plans. A critical issue that is yet to be resolved is the proportion of this that will be ‘affordable.’

For all developments comprising 10 residential units or more Hackney has a borough-wide target requiring 50% of all units to be ‘affordable’. This should include a mix of three-bedroom (or larger) family housing.

Like any development, the precise number of ‘affordable’ homes is subject to negotiation. This will take into account issues such as site characteristics, location and the overall scheme viability. Negotiations can also go beyond housing and consider other social contributions such as investment in youth facilities, public realm or transport.

In terms of what is meant by ‘affordable,’ the Coalition Government recently introduced an ‘Affordable Rent model’ that allows rents to be charged up to a maximum of 80% of the market price. This is important because 80% of market rent is considered to fall within the definition of affordable housing for planning purposes.

As market rents are particularly high in Hackney the Council recently published guidelines for affordability levels for different bedroom sizes, which you can access here. This also states that the mix of ‘affordable’ homes in new developments should be a minimim of 25% social rent and 75% affordable (40% of which should be ‘intermediate’ as defined on page 95 of the London Plan).

We will be calling for the highest number of ‘affordable’ homes as possible – and for as many of these as possible to be made available for social rent. 

2. Local Employment Opportunities
Sainsbury’s has estimated that the proposed store would create up to 150 new jobs. However, it has not been clear whether this is the total number of individual jobs, or the total number of full time equivalent jobs.

We think that if the development is approved, as many of these jobs as possible should be offered to local people. We also think that there is a valuable opportunity to provide local jobs during the construction phase. 

The provision of local labour and construction is one of a number of ‘Planning Contributions’ (like affordable housing) that will be negotiated and agreed as part of the planning process. 

We are pleased that Sainsbury’s has committed to a “local labour agreement” – a written commitments between employers, investors or developers and Councils to recruit and train residents from a particular local area for some or all jobs. 

We will be calling for this agreement to include the maximum number of jobs as possible for local people.

3. Abney Park and the Stoke Newington Conservation Area

One of the main concerns we have with the development from the start is its potentialimpact on Abney Park and the Stoke Newington Conversation Area.

The Stoke Newington Conservation Area was designated in 1983 and extends from the Clissold Park Conservation Area along Church Street and includes substantial parts of the High Street as well as the whole of Abney Park Cemetery. A map of the Conservation Area is available on page 83 of the Appraisal document.

The Stoke Newington Conservation Area Appraisal provides supporting information to a number of planning policies including Hackney’s Core Strategy Policy 25 on the Historic Environment (page 128 of the Council’s Core Strategy). 

When determining whether a planning application complies with Policy 25, the Council will be guided by Sections 7.10 and 7.11 of the Appraisal.

Section 7.10 of the Appraisal concerns ‘New Development’ and states that “the opportunities for new development in the Conservation Area are very limited because of the intensely built-up nature of the townscape.” Where new development is to be carried out, it should follow a number of key principles, including:
•    Respecting the scale, massing and height of the surrounding historic properties
•    Reflecting the existing details and materials of the historic buildings in the surrounding area

Section 7.11 concerns ‘Setting and views into and out of the Conservation Area’ and highlights the importance of maintaining views from Stoke Newington Church Street and Stoke Newington High Street, as well as views out of Abney Park Cemetery. 

It states that “views must be preserved by not allowing new development which is too dominant or obtrusive” and sets out a number of principles that should be followed, including:

•    Not encroaching on the setting of Abney Park Cemetery by careful attention to scale, bulk and siting
•    New development around Abney Park Cemetery must be carefully sited so as not to interrupt existing views and skylines
•    Respecting the scale and density of existing buildings
•    New development around Abney Park Cemetery should not generate noise or other disturbance to the Cemetery
•    Preserving the existing domestic character of the surrounding buildings

We will be calling for the Stoke Newington Conservation Area Appraisal to be considered in full as part of the planning process and for the impact on Abney Park to be minimised.

4. Support for the Existing Tenants of Wilmer Place

Wilmer Place has been earmarked for development for some time. As a result the existing properties on the site have always been leased on a short term basis. 

However, now that a planning application is imminent it appears that little is being done to help the people who face losing their homes and places of work.

We will be calling on the developer and/or Sainsbury’s to offer to support the relocation of the existing tenants of Wilmer Place.

5. Support for Local Business 

Hackney planning policy states that the Council should encourage a diverse range of developments within its major and district centres, including Stoke Newington. These developments are required to enhance the environmental quality of the area and to resist the loss of shops. 

Stoke Newington is home to a successful and diverse independent retail and evening economy, which is complemented by more affordable provision on the High Street. 

We know that there are a range of views about the impact the Sainsbury’s store could have on the local economy – both positive and negative. We will be calling on Sainsbury’s to offer support to those local shops that could lose business as result of a new retail store opening on the High Street. 

6. Vehicle Access to Wilmer Place

Sainsbury’s has committed to making fewer deliveries to the store than originally planned. Furthermore, the size of delivery vehicle will be limited to a maximum of 11 metres. 

While both of these commitments are welcome, the reality is that Sainsbury’s and Newmark Properties can only regulate vehicle use on the part of the site that they own. Any restrictions on the use of Wilmer Place itself – as a through road to the delivery area – will have to be agreed by the Council and dealt with through the planning process.

We will be calling for these restrictions to be included as a condition of planning approval. We will also call for a condition that requires delivery vehicles to turn off their engines if and when they have to wait on Wilmer Place. 

Next Steps

Once the application has been submitted there will be a 21 day consultation period during which residents can submit comments (more info here). Following consultation it is likely that the application will be referred to the Planning sub-Committee for determination. 

We will be supporting residents throughout this process and will shortly post guidance on how to comment most effectively. We will also email all of those that signed our petition last year which successfully called for further public consultation on the proposals. If you would like to receive this, please email us. 

Public meeting tonight at 7pm at the Old Fire Station on Leswin Road

There will be a meeting to discuss the revised proposal tonight from 7pm at the Old Fire Station on Leswin Road.

The revised proposal comprises a large Sainsbury's supermarket (about the same size as the one on Stamford Hill) and 68 flats. This new proposal differs from the original proposal in three main areas:

  • Reducing the supermarket size by a third to 16,000 square foot

  • Increasing the number of flats from 44 to 68

  • Removing the underground car park and vehicle access from the High Street

For more information about the proposed development please check out the Stokey Local websiteand the developer's Wilmer Place website. 

Please pass this information on to anyone who you think might be interested in attending. 


Sainsbury’s returns: what next? Public meeting on Tuesday 12th June

The proposed Sainsbury's development at Wilmer Place is back and given the high level of public concern about its potential impact, Stokey Local is calling an action meeting for local people to discuss the implications of the proposed development and consider what if anything we should do to influence the developer, Sainsbury or other parties.

The meeting will be on Tuesday 12th June from 7pm at the Old Fire Station on Leswin Road if you plan to attend, can you please register in advance so that we have an idea of the numbers who will attend.

The revised proposal comprises a large Sainsbury's supermarket (about the same size as the one on Stamford Hill) and 68 flats. This new proposal differs from the original proposal in three main areas:

  • Reducing the supermarket size by a third to 16,000 square foot

  • Increasing the number of flats from 44 to 68

  • Removing the underground car park and vehicle access from the High Street

For more information about the proposed development please check out the Stokey Local website and the developer's Wilmer Place website.

It would also help greatly if you were to share this event through your facebook page, twitter, or even good old fashioned word of mouth!

Reminder: Wilmer Place public exhibition this Tuesday 29th May

Just a quick reminder that the public exhibition showing the revised proposals is this Tuesday from midday. The word on Twitter suggests it might run til 9 rather than 8pm as advertised. The exhibition is happening on the Wilmer Place site itself.

There hasn't been much time to get the word out about this so please tell your friends and neighbours that it is happening so that they can get  a chance to see it for themselves. 

Some more information emerging via Stoke Newington Central ward councillors

The Stoke Newington Central ward councillors met with the developer on Monday. They have put a detailed post up on their blog which is given in full here:

On Monday we met with Newmark Properties and their representatives to discuss the latest version of their plans to redevelop Wilmer Place.

As previously advertised, there will be a drop in session on Tuesday 29th from 12-8pm in a marquee on the Wilmer Place site itself. We campaigned and lobbied hard for there to be further consultation on the scheme. Ideally we would have welcomed a public meeting, but a drop in session does at least allow us the opportunity to see the plans in detail and ask the developer questions before they are submitted as a planning application. We stressed in the meeting last night that holding a drop in on a weekday would make it hard for many people to attend, especially if they are at work during the day – but ultimately it will be up to the developer as to whether he chooses to respond to this concern. Please do attend next Tuesday if you can. We understand that the developer’s website will also be updated with the new plans on, or just after Tuesday.

We haven’t seen the full details of the scheme but the key points are covered in the newsletter that has been distributed to residents:

  • The size of the proposed Sainsbury’s store is being reduced to 16,000 sq foot (approximately the same size as the one in Stamford Hill)
  • Despite the reduction in the size of the store – the overall size of the building has not changed.
  • No underground car parking – and just 7 disabled parking spaces for the development
  • Deliveries still via Wilmer Place, but restricted to 6-7 a day
  • The store’s delivery area will be enclosed to limit the noise from trucks loading and unloading
  • Retaining the buildings on the High Street
  • No vehicle access to the development from the High Street
  • A small buffer between the cemetery and the new building – of approximately 1m.
These are many of the issues that we raised in our objection to Newmark Properties and Sainsburys in August 2011 and we are pleased that issues with transport on the High Street and parking have been considered and taken on board.

However, we still have many concerns on planning grounds including:

  • The scale of the building and how this impacts on the Stoke Newington Conservation Area
  • The impact on the cemetery
  • Enforcing the delivery restrictions on Wilmer Place to ensure that this access is as safe as possible for residents and people passing through
  • The impact on biodiversity
  • The assessment of what impact the store will have on other local shops
We are also awaiting further detail on the breakdown of affordable housing units in the development. This is a very important issue given the housing shortages in the Borough and the increased pressure on the need for family sized housing. (We have been asked about how affordable housing is defined. The Council uses the following definition: Housing designed to meet the needs of households that cannot afford to access suitable housing in the open market. Affordable housing comprises both social rented housing and intermediate housing. You can find out more about the Council’s housing strategy here)

We also discussed last night what Sainsbury’s approach is to providing local jobs. The scheme will have ‘up to 150 jobs’, but there wasn’t any detail yet on whether these are all full time. We were very clear about the importance of ensuring that – if the development is approved – these jobs are filled by local residents. Local Labour agreements will be used to ensure that job opportunities are offered to people in the local area first – again we need to see more detail on how this might work in practice, and hold Sainsbury’s to their pledges.

The Sainsbury’s representative also confirmed that there were no plans to close any of their other stores in the local area.

We are expecting an application to be submitted at the end of June. We understand that if planning permission is granted, the construction period would be 18 months.

Please do get in touch with us if you have any further views or comments.

Invitations to the public consultation on Tuesday 29th May are now arriving in Stoke Newington homes. Please try and make it along to see the plans for yourself and try and get answers to the queestions which you have about the development. 

More details emerging plus public exhibition scheduled for Tuesday 29th May from 12 til 8pm

UPDATE: The developers have also made a change to their website, replacing the original content with a holding page containing similar information.

Some more details are emerging about the changes and the public exhibition.

Councillor Daniel Stevens has just put up a post on his blog which is copied here in full:

After a long period of silence, it would appear things are moving again on proposals to redevelop Wilmer Place. 

An application has not been submitted but we have been told that the following revisions have been made to the original plans:

  1. Increasing the number of flats on site and including a larger number of family sized homes
  2. Increasing the provision of affordable housing
  3. Reducing the size of the retail unit by 33%
  4. Removal of the basement car park with no car parking on site apart from allowing for disabled car parking
  5. Removing vehicle access off Stoke Newington High Street
  6. Reducing vehicle movements along Wilmer Place from 400 two-way unregulated movements per day to a maximum of 30 two-way regulated movements per day
  7. Restricing the size of delivery vehicle to a maximum of 11m
  8. Retaining the buildings on Stoke Newington High Street that were previously proposed for demolition
  9. Increasing the landscaped area between the development and the cemetery

As you may remember, we pressed for assurances that there would be another public exhibition from Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s before a formal planning application was submitted. We have been told today that this public exhibition will now be held on site on Tuesday 29th May 2012 between 12pm-8pm. 

We are meeting with Newmark Properties next week to find out more about their latest plans. If you have any comments on the proposed revisions listed above, please email them

So the exhibition is in less than two weeks and it's on a Tuesday. Please spread the word so that as many people as possible can go and check out the revised proposals for themselves.

We will be there and will get as much information as possible to post here so if you don't manage to make it down you can get up to speed on how things are developing.

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