‘Bullying Sainsbury’s delays plans’ for South Ruislip redevelopmentComments Off on ‘Bullying Sainsbury’s delays plans’ for South Ruislip redevelopment
The Arla Foods site has stood empty since 2006. Developers now want to build 132 homes, a cinema, five restaurants and an Asda supermarket.
Hillingdon council, the Greater London Assembly and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles have given their approval, but Sainsbury’s — which has a store nearby — has started a costly judicial review.
Sid Jackson, vice-president of the South Ruislip residents’ association, said: “Our members voted 86 per cent in favour of the redevelopment, yet Sainsbury’s appear to be using the letter of the law to meet their own ends.”
It is claimed the delay also holds up a £2.7 million infrastructure payment due to go to the local authority.
Campaigners waving placards reading “Stop Sainsbury’s bullying” held a protest outside the Sainsbury’s South Ruislip store.
Andrew Rennie, managing director of developers Citygrove, said: “All Sainsbury’s will achieve is a delay to the inevitable, but it in the meantime it does prejudice £100 million of investment in South Ruislip creating over 530 new jobs and 132 new homes.”
The proposed development sits in the Hillingdon constituency Boris Johnson is to run for at the next election.
Citygrove won planning permission in December and could start work within weeks, but Sainsbury’s claims the approval process was flawed.
A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We have written to the council asking them to clarify their position about the way they approved the application, after originally refusing it in 2014 … We have been left with no other option but to refer the issue to a judge.”
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said: “These sorts of tactics where retailers would slow down competition have no place on today’s high street.”