Christopher Wallace, a local man from Islington, protested against Sainsbury’s in front of the Islington Town Hall last Wednesday for putting fans on his windows.
The carpenter, owns a flat in Holloway Road and a Sainsbury’s shop is just under his flat. There are three big fans placed by one side of the supermarket, to keep the refrigerators cool, and just above the fans there are the windows of Wallace’s flat.
Everything started when the supermarket installed the fans, “They used to be noisy for about six months. I got an enforcement against them and Islington Council made them be quieter,” said Christopher.
His main concern are the chemicals used to keep the supermarket´s fridges cool, one of which is called R22, “What happens if it leaks and it comes through my window?” he said.
It’s not only about the chemicals, Christopher has to smell baking bread every single morning from 6am, and he wants the supermarket to stop that smell coming into his flat.
“I’ve been living in my flat for fourteen years and Sainsbury´s arrived two years ago,” he said.
The neighbour is really disappointed by the response that he got from the big chain of supermarkets, which send him a lawyer instead of offering a solution.
“They are so big they wouldn’t do anything. They say they care about their customers – of course, because they spend money – but they don’t care about the locals. They don’t look after their neighbours,” explained Christopher.
Planning and building control from Islington Council didn’t take any notice about this neighbour’s case. “If this was someone big, instead of me, like a big personality, I am pretty sure they would sort it out,” added Christopher.
He’s been protesting since 2013. “It was mid December 2013 when I started protesting, but it gets that cold it makes you sick, so I had to stop and continue when it wasn’t freezing”.
One day, Islington planning proposed that he went to a meeting where he could express his thoughts. In that meeting, Christopher brought a list of 20 things Sainsbury’s has, in his opinion, done wrong, showing it through plans and drawings, “they came back to me 5 months later and said they couldn’t do anything.”
Now Christopher is planning to keep protesting twice a week until the elections, since he’s a carpenter he “also needs to go to work.”
A spokesperson from Sainsbury’s has said, “We have been working closely with Mr.Wallace, and Islington council and fitted a new fan last year to further minimise any noise.”
The supermarket giant also confirmed that the fan does not produce any chemicals. They have been monitoring it, and say it is within acceptable noise levels, with no evidence whatsoever to suggest it is a health hazard.