MP accuses Aldi of ‘unacceptable’ U-turn on Coulsdon parking

Coulsdon residents are preparing for another battle over parking provision in their district centre, fighting against a scheme which the local MP has described as an “unacceptable proposal”.

Parking problems: Aldi has done a U-turn over their promise to Coulsdon

Just four years ago, Aldi was granted planning permission for their large supermarket on the Brighton Road, but only if they provided car parking space for the community to use – permanently.

The original report by a council official recommending granting permission to build the supermarket included a car park management scheme that allowed all-comers, and which would be “… retained for as long as the development remains in existence”.

But now the German-based retailer has submitted an application to Croydon Council to make their car park exclusive to their own customers.

Businesses and locals who use Coulsdon have been grumbling for a while now over the loss of parking spaces in what was the council-run Lion Green Road car park – the site given over to a Brick by Brick housing development.

In 2019, the new Aldi’s car park was supposed to provide alternative parking in Coulsdon, but that small triumph of local planning is now under threat from the demands of big business.

Chris Philp is the Conservative Government minister and MP for Croydon South who has a home in Coulsdon. He has written to constituents encouraging them to submit objections to the Aldi proposals to Croydon’s planning department.

“When Aldi was originally given planning consent for their Coulsdon branch, one of the conditions included that the car park could be used by everyone – not just those using their store – for as long as the development remains there,” Philp said.

“Aldi’s new unacceptable proposal seeks to renege on that commitment. To make matters worse, Aldi’s proposal would mean that those who park at Aldi but do not shop and input their car registration at the store would be issued with fines.”

Clear objections: MP Chris Philp is leading complaints about Aldi’s changes on Coulsdon parking

And Philp continued: “Car parking capacity is much needed in Coulsdon – to support local businesses and make it easier for people to visit shops and other facilities – so I have written to Croydon Council in the strongest possible terms to object to ALDI’s proposal.

“It is vital that the car park remains open to all members of the public

Philp’s objection letter to the council planners quotes from the original, approved planning application: “The secondary objective is to provide short-term parking for non-customers such as those visiting nearby shops and facilities.”

The new application from Aldi, Philp says, “would be completely at odds with this”.

Philp also reminds the planners that Coulsdon’s influential residents’ associations only agreed to support the original Aldi planning application “on the understanding that there would be parking facilities for non-customers of the store”.

Philp describes Aldi’s latest application as “a complete about-turn”. Politicians probably can’t bring themselves to write the term “U-turn”.

Philp is encouraging residents to object to Aldi’s proposal, either by visiting the council planning portal by clicking here, or email and quote the 23/02665/CONR reference number.

Read more: Perry’s parking proposal to impose smartphone apps on drivers

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5 Responses to MP accuses Aldi of ‘unacceptable’ U-turn on Coulsdon parking

  1. I don’t know why Philp’s bothering himself with trivia like this, unless there’s an election looming.

    In any case, thanks to the ULEZ, there will be fewer cars queueing up to park at Aldi.

    The best car park management scheme is one that will be familiar to the entrepreneurial property development capitalist Philp, one which balances the fixed supply of parking spaces with variable demand for them: make people pay.

  2. Dave West says:

    Tesco at Purley tried the same trick, but were forced to back down.

  3. Rosa Shea says:

    This new proposal is totally unacceptable as the original agreement was to allow parking on the site in order to get permission to build the Aldi store

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    Aldi should not be seeking that change, but then we are talking about the planning department here.

    So Tesco had to back down? But was planning refused or did Tesco just withdraw? Perhaps Tesco cares about its customers?

    So when the Council land was passed to Brick by Brick – was anything done?

    When land used by residents of terraced houses in Broad green was taken and sold and more flats built, suddenly they had no parking but the new flats did – so much for car free developments.
    To add insult to injury the Broad Green Tavern decided to have a beer garden at the back – right beside one terraced house. Then it put three floors as a HMO and reduced parking more. The latest car free development has three vehicles taking up parking and those tenants having to park on the road many times illegaly also aking away spaces for the residents of the terraced houses and flats

    But although the driver decides where they park. However when the Council despite objections ignores clear detriments to an area for its own purposes and damages both a community and individuals. Can one really you cannot put all the blame onto the drivers who have cars.

    No one likes to have an amenity that has been there for decades suddenly taken away and a huge strain put on local resources so that they fail repeatedly.

    Anti – car appears to have always been this councils agenda. It will keep pushing that with every scheme it can. it has repeatedly shown scant regard for residents or their rights.
    And thats the real issue – not cars. When a council runs rampant acroos residents lives and causes such damage to the area and community it cannot be said to be working in residents interests.
    Whether it is cars – referendums on council tax – parks – schools – ANPR – piss poor Planning – rotten landlords – crazy builders – the root of much wrongs is this council.

    Philp may be raising cain for political purposes or perhaps he is taking up something his residents actually want. And lets face it – It will be interseting to see how much pressure Perry puts on planning with that.

    But perhaps it is time that all MPs in Croydon and all Councillors got together in cross party unity on the one issue that affects all residents – this sordid municipal body.
    Perhaps as a group they can take this council to task at every occassion until it actually desists with bad practices and failures and starts putting residents and the future as its priority.

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