Lidl’s latest scheme to build a steel shed on the site of the old Good Companions at Hamsey Green has been referred to Croydon Council’s planning committee by a senior Croydon councillor who says he has “serious concerns” over the development.
Tim Pollard, the deputy leader of the Tory group which controls Croydon Council, said of the latest proposed designs, “The fundamental problems around access and safety remain unresolved and for this reason I still have serious concerns.”
Referral to the planning committee means that the council planning staff no longer have the authority to grant permission to the scheme; that power now sits solely with the planning committee.
Sanderstead councillor Pollard itemised his concerns as:
- Significant concerns about the suitability of the proposed access arrangements and their impact on road safety, the safety of users of the bus stop and traffic flows due to the adjacency of existing junctions
- The impact of the access arrangements on the existing slip road in front of the existing shops
- The bland nature of the design from the south, which is a major approach route to the borough
- The size of the car park relative to the store: given the distinct nature of the Lidl offer visitors are likely to come from a wider area than normal and due to the lack of public transportation options in this area these visits will almost certainly be by car. There is no safe overflow parking in the area and the nearest viable road, Tithepit Shaw Lane, is already heavily parked due to the proximity of a primary and secondary school.
- The degree of feeling of residents in the neighbourhood that the proposed store is not needed (due to the substantial number of other stores within easy access) and that its negative impacts are thus magnified as there is no community benefit to counter-balance against the problems associated with it.
Pollard’s objections in this case could almost be used as a checklist for other groups of local residents concerned about the re-development, often of pubs, as supermarkets (South Croydon residents concerned about the Red Deer becoming a branch of Morrisons, take note).
Local residents relate that at least four independent traders on the shopping parade at Hamsey Green have already opted to close up their businesses, rather than take on the German multi-national giant head-to-head. The fate of the branch Post Office is of particular concern.
Pollard announced to Croydon Conservatives (presumably he does not believe there is concern or interest outside his own political party), “My position on this application is to recognise that Lidl has made significant efforts to overcome local objections to the unattractive nature of its first two efforts at a store design and their incongruity with the local parade.
“The new design is much better, although it still needs some tweaking to improve it further. However, the fundamental problems around access and safety remain unresolved and for this reason I still have serious concerns.”
- The deadline for lodging objections to the Lidl scheme is Tuesday, April 30.
- 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 email@example.com quoting Planning Application Number 13/00957/P.
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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