Marks and Spencer seeks to move into controversial Stoke Newington site

Wilmer Place Industrial Site Stoke Newington

Supermarket sweep: a new chain hopes to hoover up the Wilmer Place site. Photograph: Google

Retail giant Marks and Spencer has submitted an offer for a store and car park at Wilmer Place in Stoke Newington, the site Sainsbury’s withdrew from earlier this year following a hard-fought battle with residents.

The agents selling the building, Kingsbury, have published documents revealing an offer from M&S to occupy a retail unit of 11,500 square feet and 20 car parking spaces, on land owned by Newmark Properties on Stoke Newington Church Street and the west side of Stoke Newington High Street.

In April Sainsbury’s pulled out of plans to build a large store on the same site after a long-running battle with campaign group Stokey Local. The new plans are a downgrade in scope to those previously proposed by the developers.

Nick Perry, of Stokey Local, said: “If the mooted M&S store – at a quarter of the size of the planned Sainsbury’s, and without five storeys looming over the cemetery – comes to anything, we’d seriously question whether another expensive food store adds anything to the mix.

“But we clearly recognise the improvement in scale over the consented scheme.”

Newmark Properties, the developers who own the land, had wanted to construct a five-storey building, containing a supermarket and 53 homes.

The new development proposed would occupy roughly one square kilometre, including the five shop fronts on the western side of Stoke Newington Church Street.

“We look forward to consulting with the developers and proposed tenants to get something positive, affordable and accessible on this now derelict site,” said Perry.

An M&S spokesperson confirmed the chain had an interest in the Stoke Newington area but declined to give any further details.

Hackney Council twice approved Newmark’s original, larger-scale plans. But campaigners took the case to court to resist the development, with one of their main objections being the lack of affordable housing offered.

The campaigners eventually lost their High Court appeal to have the development quashed. But then Sainsbury’s unexpectedly backed out of the scheme the following week.


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