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East Croydon Sainsbury's: Is this Britain's worst-placed supermarket?

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A NEW supermarket tacked onto the side of the 50 pence building has been branded 'unsafe' and its appearance compared to a 'carbuncle'.

Sainsbury's opened a newly built 'local' store attached to the bottom of the iconic No.1 Croydon last month.

But it has attracted criticism for its look and its dangerous location where the most obvious access point from East Croydon station is to cross the tram tracks.

Wainwright, which manages No.1 Croydon, applied in 2012 for planning permission to construct a "retail pavilion on the redundant courtyard".

There were ten consultees, including six councillors for Fairfield and Addiscombe wards, made aware of the process but the application received no comments or objections from them or residents.

Sean Fitzsimons, one of the Addiscombe councillors consulted, now believes it was a mistake to let the retail unit be built. Both he and Fairfield's Conservative councillor Vidhi Mohan admitted the application had passed them by but that it should have looked at more thoroughly.

Cllr Fitzsimons said: "It is in the wrong place and it is ugly. The NLA tower was a standalone iconic building that over the years has become a landmark.

"But this is a carbuncle on the building."

Cllr Fitzsimons also expressed serious concerns about the safety record on the roads around East Croydon, especially after the death of cyclist Roger de Klerk within yards of the entrance to the new Sainsbury's.

The council confirmed this week there are major works planned to the roads around East Croydon, the details of which are to be announced in the New Year.

The Advertiser also understands council officers are concerned the new development could also hinder future expansion of the tram network because of a lack of space to widen the road.

Cllr Fitzsimons said: "A poor man was killed there only this year. That roundabout is confusing and dangerous and we want massive improvements there. You've got taxis, and various bus lanes, there is a massive traffic conflict there."

Cllr Mohan, who was part of the ruling Conservative party when the retail unit received planning permission, said: "I agree the look of that particular Sainsbury's is not great, I wish they had thought about the look a bit more.

"Our understanding was there were no planning grounds to stop it and they wanted to open one there.

"There does seems to be a lot of Sainsbury's but I suppose on the positive side it is an indication of the confidence in the town centre."

A spokesman for Wainwright said there was "a need" for a retail unit on the site and they were happy Sainsbury's filled it. He had no comment to make on its appearance.

A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "Sainsbury's carefully considers suitable locations for all new stores. As part of that process we require planning approval for changes to the shop front.

"The London Borough of Croydon required us to adopt a concrete design which they felt was in keeping with the industrial, urban design of the wider building.

"Sainsbury's takes the safety of our customers very seriously and worked with the local authority throughout the planning process to address access issues."

East Croydon Sainsbury's: Is this Britain's worst-placed supermarket?


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