Planning Meeting to decide on Tesco’s proposal

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Mole Valley Councillors have agreed Tesco’s Metro Store application. More details to follow.

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The Planning Meeting to decide if Tesco’s proposal will be accepted is on Tuesday 11th Sept at 7pm at the Council Chambers, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking RH4 1SJ.

We hope as many SAVE supporters as possible will attend.

Please remember we must be very quiet in the Public Gallery!

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19th July 2012

Dear Cllr.

Covering Letter for Executive Summary of Objections, to all members of the DCC
MO/2012/0234 PLAMAJ – Proposal for Tesco Metro, Ashtead Village

When the application comes to the Development Control Committee, you are likely to be faced with a long report, hence we are writing to you now in the hope you can read this in good time for that meeting.  We would ask you to read the DCC report knowing of our, and hundreds of other, local objections.

The attached Executive Summary sets out our principal objection issues.  It provides links to Objection Reports with the detailed supporting analysis.  All these Objections have been submitted to MVDC by Save Ashtead’s Village Environment (SAVE), Pound Court Residents’ Group (PCRG), Transition Ashtead and Ashtead Traders and Businesses, and appear on MVDC’s planning website.

Did you know that the latest plan has absolutely NO new customer car parking?  The proposed store remains far too large for the site and the surrounding highways and parking infrastructure.  It is over three times the size of an Express store and only 9% smaller than Tesco’s previous application – which had proposals for an expansion of the Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall (APMH) car park and yet the Planning Inspector still said provided insufficient parking.  Hence Tesco has been unable to build that store.  If adopted, this latest  proposal will have severe negative consequences for Ashtead.

This application contains such fundamental, material errors and omissions (which, when corrected, clearly demonstrate significant negative impacts) that it should not be considered by MVDC as a valid basis upon which to form a view on the proposed development and should therefore be rejected by MVDC in accordance with precedent elsewhere.

The main issues covered in our Objections are:

  1. Significant errors in traffic flow data on the A24 through Ashtead and safety issues at the already sub-standard A24/Woodfield Lane junction – Contravenes MOV2 (MVDC Local Plan 2000).
    • Tesco’s data on traffic flows and the junction modelling is flawed, and underestimates the congestion and safety issues.  These must be re-considered because of major errors in Tesco’s data and an increase in traffic since their last proposal.
    • Tesco’s own traffic experts in other Tesco planning applications predict that a store of this size would generate a traffic rate 40% higher than submitted in this proposal.
  2. Insufficient car parkingContravenes MOV2 (MVDC Local Plan 2000)
    • Tesco have provided no customer parking and only 5 spaces for staff parking in an unidentified location – yet 30 staff will be working in the store at any given time.  There will still be a 100+ shortfall in parking spaces, proven by three analysis methods and up-to-date car park counts.
  3. Failure to meet sustainability targets – Contravenes CS19 (MVDC Core Strategy, October 2009)
    • The application does not meet MVDC’s own targets for environmental sustainability.  The required national targets have increased since Tesco’s previous application and the proposal must be considered against these new targets.  There are no reasonable grounds for granting an exemption. Tesco would be able to meet the specified targets if the size of the development were to be reduced.
  4. Delivery Vehicles and Pedestrian Safety Issues
    • Articulated delivery lorries will, Tesco agree, have to mount the pavements to exit and enter the site.  This will cause serious safety issues for pedestrians and other road users.
  5. Loss of key community facilitiesContravenes CS17 (MVDC Core Strategy, October 2009)
    • The Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall (APMH) and the adjacent APMH car park, which are at the centre of Ashtead village life, will be threatened as viable community facilities due to inadequate car parking.
  6. Contravention of Ashtead Village S5 Local Shopping Centre Boundary in the Mole Valley Local Development Framework Proposals Map, adopted October 2009
    • Tesco’s proposed development exceeds the adopted MVDC retail allocation for this site by approximately 50%.  The S5 Ashtead Shopping Centre allocates only the front half of the site for retail.  This Plan has been adopted by the Council and is now a material consideration.
  7. Negative retail impact on local food shops and their protection contained within MVDC’s Core Strategy – Contravenes para 6.2.23 of MVDC Core Strategy ”Vision for Ashtead” (October 2009)
    • The impact of this proposed basket store on existing Ashtead food shops will be three times greater than in the previous proposal.  Tesco’s old scheme was for a supermarket to ‘save trips to Leatherhead’; this is now a top-up store only and so will go head to head with Ashtead’s existing stores.  It does not complement the existing range of shops, but threatens them.
  8. Noise levels – Noise levels will be greater than in the previous proposal because of (i) new office and residential developments adjacent to the site that were not consented when the earlier scheme was approved and (ii) lorry manoeuvres caused by the new delivery arrangements.
  9. High level of local opposition
    • Approximately 840 letters of objection have been submitted versus only approximately 25 letters of support.  97% of submissions from Ashtead residents are objections.
    • 46 Ashtead traders/businesses have submitted a petition that opposes the proposal.

The site needs to contribute to Ashtead’s economy, not threaten traders and the APM Hall.

We need:

  • A much smaller store that complements the village, with parking on-site to help cope with demand.
  • A self-contained site, without routing lorries through the car park or through the narrow lanes adjacent to the site
  • Safe lorry access.
  • Built to meet local and national Sustainability Targets.
  • Tesco to accept that an Express store is the only size of store suitable for this site.

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You can object again (even if you have objected before), based on the new information of The Molesey Experience of the impact that Tesco Metro has had on their local shops and how that experience could be replicated in Ashtead.

HOW TO OBJECT TO THE PROPOSAL

The deadline for comments has been extended to Tuesday 11th September 2012 

  • If you are a couple please send in 2 representations, especially as we have no plans (at present) for a petition. Every comment is vitally important and this will increase the number of representations.
  • Please quote the application number MO/2012/0234 PLAMAJ
  • Please give your full address.
  • Please state your own examples of any concerns or difficulties you already have of parking in Ashtead.
  1. By e-mail to: planning@molevalley.gov.uk (click on the email address to email them directly)
  2. By letter to: The Planning Department, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1SJ.
  3. By submitting an attached file via the council’s web site: Click here for the link.

You can view the full planning application on the councils website via this link here: www.molevalley.gov.uk.

WE MUST FIGHT ON!

Tesco have been unable to build their second proposed store of 750 sq.m. retail space. This is because they have been unable to find a new location for the 74 long term parking spaces within the village, which was the condition set by The Planning Inspector, following the Public Inquiry in July 2011 for the store to be built.

This proves that SAVE and the ARA were right in arguing that the 750 sq.m. retail space was too big for the village.

Tesco have come back with only a very slightly smaller store so we cannot see how this will be appropriate for the village, even if it is baskets only.

Despite the improvements (i.e. no change to exisiting car park arrangements in Ashtead Village with The Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall Car Park kept under control of Mole Valley District Council; no trolleys outside the store, only baskets and small trolleys within it; and no back entrance onto the car park, only a front entrance onto The Street) we must not succumb to Campaign Fatigue, which Tesco rely on, and give up now, especially when…

…THERE IS A SIMPLE SOLUTION

A SMALLER STORE WITH ON-SITE PARKING