Sainsbury’s reveal plans for 12,000 sq ft store on Tulse Hill

The existing Carpetright and Topps Tiles building. picture from Google Streetview
The existing Carpetright and Topps Tiles building. picture from Google Streetview

Sainsbury’s has revealed its plans for a 12,000 sq ft supermarket on the site of Carpetright, on the corner of Tulse Hill and Water Lane, Brixton.

The grocery giant said the new store will create 100 new jobs in the area, and will open later this year.

Sainsbury’s will make changes  including building a new entrance at the north east corner of the building. Planning permission was given for the alterations in August 2o12. They store have submitted an alcohol license application to Lambeth Council, but a spokesman said it will not be open 24 hours per day.

Lisa Poyser, Sainsbury’s Development Surveyor said: “We are delighted to be opening a new Sainsbury’s supermarket in Tulse Hill, keeping this prominent site in retail use and creating 100 job opportunities for local people.

“We will ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum during construction and will keep the community informed throughout the works. ”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said Carpetright would continue trading until March, when work will begin on the supermarket.

Local residents gave a mixed reception to the news. Andrew Child, from the Save George IV pub campaign, said: “There are already six Sainsbury’s stores within a mile radius of this site and a further three Tescos.

“I note that this Sainsbury’s will be not just a Local store but a regular-sized Central store. So that represents an even bigger threat to local shop keepers. I’d also say that of the up to 100 jobs that Sainsbury’s says it will provide many will be unskilled, part-time and pay below the Living Wage.”

Another local, Sarah Scott, said: “Part of me supports this, Brixton has only one large supermarket (Tesco) to serve an enormous population and its always so busy its pretty unpleasant!

“The smaller supermarket stores adjust their prices up so it’s better value to shop at the larger stores, so if this is a big store it could be good to relieve the pressure.”

Local Labour activist Tom Skinner said: “We are pretty powerless to stop this (as is the council) as it’s a simple change of use from retail to retail. The best you can hope for is to object to individual planning applications for signage, parking etc.

“In particular we should oppose it having an alcohol licence. There are enough places to buy your booze on Tulse Hill/Brixton Hill and they’re cheaper too.”

It is the latest in a series of plans from Tesco and Sainsbury’s to widen their retail dominance in the area, apparently in former carpet shops and pubs. A Sainsbury’s Local opened in the old Allied Carpets, Brixton Hill, in 2011. Last year a plan to turn the former George IV into a Tesco Express caused an outcry from residents, just a few hundred metres from Carpetright.

Meanwhile, a new Tesco Express opened in the old Warrior pub last week. Some locals apparently welcomed it to the neighbourhood by smashing two of the store’s windows. A Sainsbury’s Local is also due to open shortly in another disused pub. Finally, other residents are battling plans for yet another Tesco Express next to Sainbury’s Local, Herne Hill.

What do you think of plans for the Sainbury’s supermarket on Water Lane? Email or leave a comment below.

Planning permission for a new entrance to the building was granted in August last year
Planning permission for a new entrance to the building was granted in August last year


  1. I’m just off Brixton Water Lane/Tulse Hill, and I’m not entirely opposed. I don’t really understand the fuss about Sainsbury’s being able to sell alcohol – there’s a ‘local shop’ just opposite the new Sainsbury’s that sells alcohol 24 hours 7 days a week. The street drinkers keep me awake at night as it is, shouting, singing and later crying. Granted, the area could do with some sort of drunks’ sound-proofed padded cell rather than another supermarket, but Sainsbury’s selling booze can’t make matters any worse round here and at least their milk doesn’t uncannily go off days before its ‘use by’ date.

  2. What is the hoo ha about??Brixton NEEDS a metaphoric coat of paint, this store will, okay, hopefully provide it.
    New to Brixton, moved here two weeks ago,and while the local S is cool,just not a patch on a big S,stop yer whining…you gotta move with the times….or get left behind;-)
    I work part time and will be applying for a part job at the new store,moaning is for those who are just not happy, be happy;-) life IS short.

  3. I’d rather it was a Homebase or a garden centre- we really need one since the East Dulwich garden place closed down. I miss the old DIY shop on Brixton Water Lane.

  4. I love independent shops, but not so much when they have a poor choice of bad quality items. The Sainsbury’s will encourage footfall to this crossroads and may have a positive as well as negative impact on the area. There’s some things that big supermarkets just do well, and I doubt its going to impact sales at Brixton markets, or the thriving Village.
    For everyone saying there are already lots of Sains and Tesco in the area – “Local/Metros” do not count! They do not offer the same range. They are almost as badly stocked as corner shops, and just as overpriced. Given the choice in that instance, I would happily shop at a corner shop!

  5. I was really pleased to hear about this! I think a big sainsbury will be great for that area, I dislike going to the big tesco on acre lane it’s busy and unpleasant. I agree there are too many small local supermarkets which are expensive and really lacking in selection but with only one large supermarket (Tesco) for such a big area and growing population the Brixton/herne hill is crying out for it. For people without a car and time poor due to work/family life this will be a great help. I am a supporter of independent local businesses but in the direct area where this is opening there are none that I would do my weekly shop at. The sooner the better for me!

  6. I am a local resident & do not welcome the disruption to the area. There are enough Supermarkets/Locals that this isjust not needed. Will parking bay times be extended to prevent customers using the residential roads surrounding, who will have to pay?

    • There is a Lidl on Acre Lane that’s a similar size to the proposed new Sainsbury’s on Water Lane. And it has roughly the same sized car park too. Despite much more heavily restricted parking on Acre lane, there isn’t any disruption around the Lidl store. So I think it’s a fairly safe to ay that the new Sainsbury’s won’t really cause much – if any disruption on Water Lane.

  7. Parking is going to be a major issue. There is not a big enough car park to support this size of store and enevitably customers will be parking in the surrounding streets. Resisdents parking restrictions must match the stores opening hours to prevent the surround area becoming the car park which is subsequently a nuisance for residents own visitors.

    • Josephine Avenue has been largely deserted since the introduction of the QR zone. The council could clean up by turning the whole street into pay and display

  8. Thank goodness, it’s such a long walk to the Sainsbury’s at the other end of Brixton Water Lane, it’s like nearly 0.25 miles.

  9. Sorry. But I think it’s great news.

    The area is crying out for a second decent-sized supermarket.

    100 jobs for local people has got to be a good thing in anyone’s books. And as someone who’s tried to give the tired unwelcoming (and at times quite threatening) shops on the other side of the road my custom for several years, I think this is a breath of fresh air.

    Sainsbury’s will bring an influx of new shoppers to the other side of the road and if they play their cards right the shops in the parade might even benefit from all the extra footfall!

    • Try popping up Leander Road to Elm Park Parade. There’s a mini market where the staff are really friendly. If they haven’t got what you need, they’ll get it in for you next day. There’s also an off-license, Post Office (with free to use cash machine), gent’s hairdresser, launderette, art shop and the warm and friendly Elm Pub. Enjoy!

  10. I think the local shops really should up their game. They’ve had long enough to turn their pockey grotty shops into something more fitting for the 21st century.

  11. Good news, looking forward to shopping there. Hope they have a good beer range.

    By the way, those of us in Herne Hill are not “battling” plans for the new Tesco. Apart from a few whiny nimbies, many of us welcome extra facilities, not to mention the healthy competition it will give to our rather mediocre little Sainsburys.

  12. I would say 100 “unskilled, part-time” jobs are sorely needed in Brixton at the moment. I think people need to think twice before they get in a flap and start a petition every time a business moves into Brixton.

    Agreed that there are already too many supermarkets in Brixton but personally if I can go and buy a loaf of bread that’s got 4 days left in date at Sainsburys, rather than an already expired, dusty one from some of these small local shops you all want to hang on to, then I will!

  13. dumb and stupid there’s sainsbury’s all over brixton and local shops will go out of business it’ll be a shame

  14. “We will ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum”. I hope people will join me and ensure disruption is kept to a maximum.

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