Local outrage over Somerfield Closure
Supermarket to make way for development of flats
Residents of East Acton have reacted with outrage to the news that the local Somerfield store is to close on the 31st July. The closure will be followed at a later date by the loss of the Chinese supermarket on the same site.
Somerfield have been bought out of their lease by a developer looking to turn the site into a residential development. There is much local concern that the loss of local amenity combined with two other massive planned developments on Bromyard Road and the Prestolite site near Larden Road. The Bromyard House development which has just started will bring thousands of new residents to the area and the Prestolite application states that there will be 589 residential units, 293 parking spaces and provision of a school building on the site. Outline plans for the Prestolite re-development in Larden Road can be seen at the Environment Reception at Perceval House next to Ealing Town Hall.
Local resident Julia Hunt said, "And how the hell will the local services cope with all these extra people, I already have to wait weeks for a doctor’s appointment, dentists in the area are the same and if the buses are coming along already full...."
The planning application made by the developers, Shepherds Bush Housing Association incorporates a supermarket on the ground floor of the new building. The closure of Somerfield has been added to the agenda (public forum) of the Acton Area Committee on Monday.
Paul Doe, Chief Executive, Shepherds Bush Housing Association, "Shepherds Bush Housing Association is responsible for the planned building works and as part of the planning permission for the site at Swainson Road, we are required to provide a supermarket for the local community. The residential part of the development provides home ownership opportunities to local people, as well as environmental parking solutions for those new residents, a supermarket and office facilities. This development will stimulate business in the area, and provide affordable homes for local people."
Somerfield manager Pascal Tokunaga said, "Please do not be surprised if you see do not see a full range of products in the forthcoming weeks, as we need to 'run down' the store in order to close with a minimum of stock."
Despite Somerfield's numerous attempts to get permission to re-fit the store, the landlords refused to allow this and offered an 'extremely large' sum of money to the company for them to give the building back early (before the lease is due to expire). Somerfield knew that the lease would not be extended on the site and therefore decided to accept the offer.
June 14, 2004