Residents welcome rejection of supermarket bid for Chiswell Green pub garden

Owner of Bhaker House coffee shop Jenny Kaur is happy that the plan for Sainsbury's to build a store

Owner of Bhaker House coffee shop Jenny Kaur is happy that the plan for Sainsbury's to build a store on the garden of the Three Hammers pub has been turned down - Credit: Archant

Sainsbury’s contentious push to build a £2.5 million store on a historic pub’s garden in St Albans has been refused at an appeal.

The rejection, announced in a Planning Inspectorate decision recently, has been applauded by relieved local residents who had fought against the bid.

Scores of objections flooded into the district council after Sainsbury’s asked for permission to build a convenience store in the garden of Grade II listed Three Hammers Pub in Watford Road, Chiswell Green.

Among those welcoming the rejection is Jenny Kaur, managing director of Bhaker House, an independent coffee shop which recently opened near the site.

Jenny had been concerned that her fledging business would be crushed by the giant corporation.

But yesterday she said: “It’s a great decision for everyone in the area. We have been very fortunate to have had the support of local residents who were against the scheme and stood up for our local businesses.

“Normally companies like Sainsbury’s get their way but this shows we can stand up to them.

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“I think there is a great sense of community spirit in Chiswell Green – people are glad that the pub gets to stay the way it is.”

The chairman of St Stephen parish council, Cllr Mick Freeman, hailed it as good news for the area, adding that local retailers could continue “to provide excellent services to the community without the fear of having to close due to competition from one of the supermarket giants.”

In her decision, planning inspector Hilda Higenbottam said planning permission was refused because store customers would park close to the boundaries of two neighbouring homes, which would have a negative impact upon residents’ living conditions.

She said: “The close proximity of the parking and the extended period when both the public house and convenience store would be open ... would result in significant noise and disturbance to the occupiers of these properties, particularly in the summer months when they would be likely to use their gardens more frequently.”