Sainsbury’s and Tesco are less able to cut it with their big shops or the Germans so they’re coming to a High Street near you
Sainsbury’s has secured all permissions for the former Barclays Bank site at 459 London Road and Tesco is developing 1 Clifton Road.
The closure of the third and last of Isleworth’s Barclays Bank branches offered the orange team an opportunity to maintain their rivalry with the blue team, Sainsbury’s secured the option to buy the lease on the former bank site but they had to get their permissions first.
First was the drinks licence application and a local worry that a new Sainsbury’s on the site would be a 24 hour operation. We are now assured that this will not be the case. A Licensing Panel was held on 1 October 2014 at Hounslow Civic Centre which heard from Sainsbury’s, their lawyers and a private dick who had been hired to observe the local street drinking schools’ activities. St Johns Residents Association Chair, Dominic West spoke as an objector as did I. Both were concerned about street drinking and the mess left, encouraging further anti social behaviour not just in the immediate vicinity but also in the service roads, alleys and Thornbury Park as well as the increase in numbers of drinks outlets, hours of sales and the retail of spirits in anything less than half a standard bottle.
In the end, the best we could secure was a change of hours where alcohol could be sold, an 8.00 am start instead of 7.00 am and no spirits sold in less than a standard half bottle. The Sainsbury’s Licensing application report can be found here. and the minutes here.
With the booze taken care of, Sainsbury’s proceeded to apply for planning permission to remodel the bank to a shop. The council’s planners were mindful to approve the application but local representation about road safety at the occasionally unsafe junction with St Johns Road, delivery and store operation regime left little choice but to refer it to the full Planning Committee.
A number of meetings and discussions took place with Sainsbury’s planning public relations folk, Hounslow’s planners, local residents and residents groups to try to make sure that concerns were addressed. The application was considered by the Planning Committee on 26 February 2015 and I was allowed to voice my and local people’s misgivings; Sainsbury’s head office big guns were there and spoke too. It’s not always easy to convince but some concessions were achieved on delivery and servicing times.
The council’s traffic team have acknowledged the demand and need for controlled pedestrian crossing at this busy junction but need to convince the lazy Mayor for London’s TfL who own the lights and tend to call the shots on London Road traffic. This remains an urgent proposal with or without Sainsbury’s.
The 459 London Road planning committee report can be found here and minutes (no 83) here.
Will keep in touch about this and would welcome any comments or views.