To absolutely no one’s surprise – largely because they have paid top-dollar for the landmark site and need to make the £2 million investment work for them commercially – Lidl has submitted a renewed planning application for a supermarket where the Good Companions pub used to be at Hamsey Green.
Even less surprisingly, the locals do not like it one bit.
“It’s still a steel shed,” local resident Paul Reddington told Inside Croydon.
Residents reckon that having forced Lidl to withdraw its previous planning application on the Limpsfield Road, the “gateway” from Surrey into Croydon, the latest supermarket scheme is little improved.
And locals’ fears that another supermarket in the area will kill off the local independent shops appear well-founded, as some shopkeepers are already shutting up and cutting their loses before the German giant moves into the area.
“The new design also misses the point about residents’ main objections,” Reddington said. “These centre on the traffic this store will generate on already congested roads – particularly at school drop-off and pick-up times,” our source said.
There are two schools, one primary, one secondary, just up the road from where Lidl expect their customers to drive into their supermarket car park. It is an issue which nothing Lidl can do will ever resolve, and with the area already well-served by nearby superstores and traffic levels never diminishing, the opposition to another massive convenience shop is unlikely to go away.
“The store would be right next door to almost 2,000 school children. Accidents are already common locally, and the access to the store is simply impractical,” said Reddington.
“Since the original application, four shops have closed in the neighbouring parade, and more will follow if the store gets the go ahead. Some of these shops have been there for decades and are already struggling in the recession. Lidl could mean the end to the nearby Co-op and in turn the Post Office within it.”
Residents have lobbied their local Sanderstead councillors, and while sympathetic, the likes of Councillor Yvette Hopley, soon to be the borough’s new mayor, have basically said that they cannot, or will not, do anything because the developers are able to exploit the planning regulations by using the former pub’s existing planning clearance to enable them to open a supermarket.
“Croydon Council needs to listen the overwhelming number of objections it is receiving,” Reddington said.
The deadline for objections in the planning consultation is next Tuesday, April 30, and the local residents’ group is calling for support from across the borough to prevent the over-development of their village-like area.
- The plans and other associated documents can be viewed at the planning portal of the Croydon Council website, where comments can be left. Alternatively comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Planning Application Number 13/00957/P.
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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