Rainbow at Sainsbury's Greenwich, 2011

One of the architects behind the Sainsbury’s store in Greenwich has launched a petition against its possible demolition. Despite opening the “eco-store” only 14 years ago, Sainsbury’s plans to move to a new site in Charlton in 2015, and Ikea is preparing a planning application to knock it down and build a new store.

Sainsbury’s is insisting on a covenant to prevent another food store from taking over the existing building. Paul Hinkin, who now works with Black Architecture, calls it “anti-competitive and is a flagrant abuse of the planning system which originally granted consent for the development”.

It’s approaching 400 signatures – and you can sign the Sainsbury’s Greenwich petition here.

Sainsbury's Charlton PR leaflet

Sainsbury’s, though, seems to be sticking its head in the sand on the issue – distributing a patronising PR leaflet to local households that doesn’t even acknowledge the new store is in Charlton, not Greenwich. Not a good sign.

9 replies on “Save Sainsbury’s Greenwich petition nears 400 signatures”

  1. Hmmm,

    Couple of points, the existing building… I’m surprised that the architects have voiced an opinion really as (I may be wrong) isn’t it the failure of the building including it’s green credentials that have helped Sainsburys make their decision to relocate?

    Sencondly about the point of the new store is to be in Charlton…

    Well, you could argue that Charlton is in Greenwich… As is Far away Abbey Wood…. Although it’s probably because Greenwich is understood to be by some a nicer sounding area… The same reason why the retail park next door to the new proposed site is called Greenwich Shopping Park…. Well so their website suggests.

  2. I agree with Joseph, I’m sure that one of the reasons they want to leave is because the building regularly floods, and has fallen very short of its green performance promises. I’m pretty sure I read about that on this blog!

    It’s a shame as its a nice looking building, but if the ‘experimental’ technology hasn’t delivered, is it fair to inflict that on another retailer?

    And as for ‘its Charlton not Greenwich’ – waitrose did the exact same thing with their Depftord Creek store, so I don’t think it’s that big a deal.

  3. Again, I agree with Joseph. What business would want a building with such poor history.

    With a Asda also present, I don’t feel a huge need for another huge supermarket in the area. Two seems like enough.

  4. The real problem lies with LXB rather than Sainsburys. LXB are demolishers rather than developers, they buy land, get planning consent for development, demolish what is currently there and then sell. In some local cases, the sale is agreed even before the purchase.

    This is wrong for two reasons, local jobs are lost as LXB acquires new property: this was nearly evidenced, opposite ASDA, in the small Brocklebank industrial estate – formerly owned by Greenwich. This estate is all but hidden behind Wickes new and largely unvisited store on Bugsbys Way. LXB had already acquired the land on which the Matelan shop is located. This and Brocklebank are to be demolished for more and more dense retail development.

    This is the second problem. Last week the Greenwich Core Strategy was subject to an Examination In Public, where a Government appointed Inspector listens to both the Council Planners and to local organisations and individuals. It is a useful opportunity to point out deficiencies in the Strategy and to make potentially useful contacts with the Council’s planners. I raised the dichotomy between two of the Strategy’s principles, of developing retail in both Woolwich and Eltham – two early point that they had made – and the continuing development of the out-of-town centre on Bugsbys Way. The Council response was that the Core Strategy did plan to end this Charlton/ North Greenwich development, so I asked why they had just sold industrial land for further retail development. Open mouths followed by fatuous answers! This continuing development negates all of Greenwich’;s stated environmental plans and risks several existing shopping centres. Plenty of free car parking is the real killer, as most of us realise.

    Now, the current Sainsburys has several problems, one of which is that the underfloor heating is inadequate and cashiers feel very cold, in the winter. Areas near to the doors are worse so the design doesn’t appear to have been so wonderful as has been claimed. Roof leaks, car charging points that are very, very rarely used and wind turbines that have not been particularly successful. The current heating scheme doesn’t work too well and would not work, at all, for retailing that doesn’t use massive refrigeration.

    Another food retailer? I don’t think so, that would only lead to further traffic congestion and concomitant air pollution. The only acceptable solution, for the community, would be an ASDA move. Their store is showing it’s age and is a long way off the environmental standards claimed by their parent, Walmart. Note, I referred to environmental standards, not staffing. But what, then, would one allow in place of ASDA? Once again, Greenwich has created a problem by inaction.

    The Greenwich Deputy Director of Planning told me, last week, that new sites are being found for the industries that are losing their base at Brocklebank. Well, yes and no. Offers are being made, largely for units that have yet to be built and some of them well out of the way of passing trade. The fight goes on!

    Apologies for such a lengthy comment but this is not a simple problem nor are there any simple solutions. I want to thank JustSpace, of which I am a member, an organisation based at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London, for their invaluable and continuing help. Also to the London Tenants Federation.

  5. Sainsbury’s New Super store SE7
    Sainsbury’s New Super store SE2 9XH
    Sainsbury’s local New store SE10 old site of GDH now called Greenwich Sq.
    Tesco Extra New store SE18

    Sainsbury’s refurbished its delivery depot in SE7 this year with a presentation by the deputy prime minster. To serve Sainsbury’s London stores, Sainsbury’s also has a new depot near the Dartford river crossing. The government is aware of large food retailers holding onto land so that competitors cannot compete. So the reason why Sainsbury’s Bugsbuys Way SE10 cannot be re-let to another tenant is that Sainsbury’s will have in place a restrictive covenant on the building as part of their deal with the developer of their new store, preventing it from being used for food retailing. It is believed that this is anti-competitive and is a flagrant abuse of the planning system. Ikea would be more suited to the new site in Charlton and I cannot understand if there are issues with the flood plane, why would ikea want to develop this site? Or is the plan that Ikea will just be the tenant with Sainsbury’s still owning the site and paying for the build the prosed ikea store?

    Sainsbury’s has its infrastructure in place for the Thames gateway.it has done its feasibility study for the Sainsbury’s store in Busby Way in SE10 and found it not to be cost effective to extend into the old comet site in SE10. With all the increasing residential developments in the Greenwich Peninsula Ward, Sainsbury’s are taking away the only decent size food retail store in SE10 and adding another convince size store to the Trafalgar road where lorries are already loading and off loading during the rush hours and for many of these major food retailers in their convenience size stores the prices of products are higher because of their location, they call this the location Premium. This is all about the bottom line putting smaller independent retailers out of business while Sainsbury’s and Tesco go head to head in southeast London. Buy a few share in Sainsbury’s and go the their AGM and let Justin King Know your feelings about Sainsbury’s in Southeast London

    Many people would like to see this Sainsbury’s building in SE10 continue to be economically sustainable, the community would have a greater choice of where to shop and the environment would not be impacted by the destruction of carbon intensive construction after such a pitifully short period of time. If this store is demolished then sustainability isn’t worth anything.
    Sign this petition to Save Sainsbury’s Greenwich and let others know about the petition to make well over 1000+ signatures

  6. Sainsburys is moving 400 metres, not 4 Km. Cannot people in Peninsular ward travel another 400m? What a facile argument.

    The role of Sainsburys is to generate a profit for their shareholders, many of whom are pension funds, that is the nature of business based on capitalism. The role of local governance it to exercise control over this process for the benefit of the local community. Sainsburys are doing their job Greenwich are not.

  7. It makes a lot of different to travel an extra 500+ meters if you have a disability and for some senior citizen, that on a single shopping trip may only be able to carry milk and bread and I would encourage their independents. It is very true that Sainsbury’s role is to generate profit for it s shareholder. Is this regardless of the cost to the community and environment?

    The government must look at closing the loophole that allows covenants to interfere with the planning process and fair competition. May be BQ could move into the Asda site and Asda could move into BQ and comet site, if the Asda store could be redeveloped first. In the late 90s Asda wanted to expand its Charlton store to no joy.

    After 15 years of rain coming into the Sainsbury’s building are they just continuing to use buckets and not making it safe for the public. The Lidl store in SE7 was never replaced.

    Again head to head with Tesco and Sainsbury’s, will the Woolwich Sainsbury’s close when the New Charlton Superstore opens as the Tesco Extra in Woolwich has knocked Sainsbury’s in Woolwich profit/takings for six and who’s caught in the middle the community. I feel that the M&S outlet will remain in Woolwich, when M&S opens in Charlton, however it may just become NON Food and the Non Food outlet makes a profit even better than the Lewisham Outlet Non Food M&S

    Anyway sorry to sidetrack save Sainsbury’s Greenwich Building.
    Sign the petition Save Sainsbury’s Greenwich

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