For a more detailed explanation of our key objections below, please read our letter of objection sent to Mole Valley District Council.
The proposal is of inappropriate size and scale, and is out of character with the rest of Ashtead village.
It is 3 1/2 times the size than Tesco Express in Craddocks Parade (Please quote MVDC Local Plan, reference ENV 22-24).
Council policy specifies that MINOR increases in shopping floor space will be permitted. (Please quote Policy S5).
The development would generate an unacceptable growth in traffic in an already congested area.
Tesco says there will be 1,557 two-way trips a day into the car park and out onto Woodfield Lane on a weekday and 240 journeys in the peak hour on a Saturday, between 12:00 and 13:00 (see Tesco’s Transport Assessment). Research shows that the actual traffic is usually 2 to 3 times greater (an Express Store, a third the size – 280 square metres (or about 335 square yards) – can pull 200 cars in and 200 cars out an hour).
Local roads would become rat runs endangering local schoolchildren e.g. at St. Giles School in Dene Road (quote MVDC Local Plan MOV 2: “Where a particular part of the highway network already endures high traffic flows significantly above its operational and environmental capacity, then only small scale development or redevelopment, which leads to little or no new traffic generation, will be permitted.”. Also quote The Local Development Strategy Transport Evaluation paras 9.16 – 9.19, 9.24 – 9.25, 10.5, 10.8 –11).
The A24 between the Knoll Roundabout and Woodfield Lane and the approach into Ashtead from Epsom are already identified as operating above their capacity levels, with further significant increases predicted, even without a new Tesco.
The proposed store would also lead to increased traffic on Woodfield Lane, Barnet Wood Lane and Craddocks Avenue, which are all subject to traffic calming measures now.
The new proposals for the already dangerous A24 The Street/Woodfield Lane junction are completely inadequate.
Moving the give way line forward fractionally at the top of Woodfield Lane, as is proposed, will further narrow the junction, and if it were seen as being a viable solution, the Council would have done this years ago.
Too many heavy articulated lorry deliveries a week, from 6am to 11pm ALL WEEK.
Tesco say 2-4 lorries a day but evidence from other stores, including Tesco Express in Craddocks Parade, shows the number will be twice this i.e. over 50 lorries a week. There will be problems with very large lorries manoeuvring in and out of the loading area along very narrow road adjacent to The Curry House, onto the A24, blocking all traffic while they do so.
Tesco have already breach permitted delivery hours on Sundays and Bank Holidays at Craddocks Parade.
Tesco states its catchment area for the store includes parts of Leatherhead and Epsom. This will draw even more traffic into the village.
Car parking will be totally inadequate.
There will be only 10 extra public car parking spaces. The current number of spaces is 162, there will be 172.
The removal of the long- term car park (70 spaces) where Ashtead Hospital Staff park, to the current short-term car park in Grove Road, (only 45 spaces) will cause problems there.
Parking for Tesco’s 50+ full-time and 50+ part- time staff, many whom will travel by car, have not been accounted for.
If Tesco takes over the car park, where is the rest of Ashtead, including the Peace Memorial Hall users, going to park?
Car park usage has been reduced to 4 hours, which will adversely affect many Hall functions.
Parking will be pushed onto residential streets surrounding the village.
It is already the case that the Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall car park often becomes full, especially when there are activities in the Hall, and so clearly a mere 10 additional spaces is woefully inadequate.
The effect of all this will be to drive villagers out of the village for their shopping, thereby further increasing traffic congestion and reducing the viability of The Street.
The store has a large back entrance from the car park, reducing the viability and vitality of The Street.
The store’s large back entrance will encourage customers to park in the car park, enter and leave Tesco’s by the back door, and not enter The Street.
Probable loss of valued independent shops will reduce villager’s choice (Local Development Framework Core Strategy Policy CS8: “Proposals which would harm the retail function of the centre, detract from its vitality and viability or create an imbalance in the hierarchy of centres in the District will not be permitted.”).
Loss of 56 trees.
Unacceptable changes in the semi-rural environment. (Please quote M.V.D.C. Local Plan paras. 8.31 – 8.39).
The original application for the “second” Tesco MO/2009/1322 proposed that 47 trees be felled and an amendment revised that to 46. However the application for the car park extension – MO/ 2009/1474 (taking part of the garden of 18 Woodfield Lane) has increased that to 56
Parts of the car park are being raised up by up to 4ft.
There will be retaining brick walls of approx. 5 ½ ft., topped by a 6ft. fence, making an over-bearing wall of almost 12 foot in height, over-shadowing neighbouring gardens.
This could cause local flooding.
Extensive opening hours 6am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm Sundays.
Ashtead will be “busy” all week, right into the night.
Will it bring the same anti-social problems as at Tesco Express on Craddocks Parade?
An overall increase in air pollution, noise and light disturbance, vibration levels, especially for neighbouring properties and those along the access routes.
The overall impact is that Ashtead’s unique village character will be lost.
We are in danger of seeing the village becoming a typical suburban town, entirely different from how it is now, just for the sake of one shop that is largely not wanted and not needed.