Decision details

APPLICATION NO. DM2020/00538 - 673-683 London Road North Cheam Sutton SM3 9DL

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Decision status: Item Deferred

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decisions:

The Committee considered a report on the above application for the demolition of existing buildings and erection of a part one-, part two-storey retail (food store) building, with associated car parking, access and landscaping.

 

The application had been de-delegated by Councillor Tom Drummond.

 

Iain Williams, Senior Planning Officer, presented to the committee.

 

The Officer clarified that Transport for London (TfL) were satisfied that the length of a customer’s stay would be short enough to ensure there would be no oversubscription of on-site parking. It was confirmed that a condition had been requested on how the car park is managed to prevent other people using the car park, e.g. parents collecting children from school.

 

It was clarified that the traffic data used was the same as the data used for the original application in 2017, rather than using updated 2020 figures. The Officer noted that a road safety audit of the junction had been completed as well as considering trip generation. Danny Calver, a representative for TfL, noted that alternative traffic systems at the exit/entrance junction were considered and TfL were satisfied that the proposal does not pose a significant risk and that all normal procedures had been met. The Officer suggested that a traffic light system to mitigate traffic congestion would not be effective in this instance. TfL confirmed that the traffic survey and safety audit were completed by an independent party.

 

The Chair highlighted the written statement shared with Councillors.

 

On the written statements, the Planning Officer noted that data had been collected on the number of pedestrians likely to visit the site.

 

Councillors Tom Drummond and Jenny Batt addressed the committee for four minutes total as Ward Councillors for Worcester Park.

 

The main points raised by Councillor Tom Drummond were that he:

·         Welcomed investment into North Cheam and Worcester Park

·         Noted that the road is already busy due to other amenities close by, including two primary schools, a bus stop and a petrol station

·         Expressed concern about safety as children walk nearby

 

The main points raised by Councillor Jenny Batt were that she:

·         Noted that Aldi had been responsive to existing problems of graffiti and anti-social behaviour

·         Welcomed investment to the area

·         Noted that the proposal would bring much needed jobs to the area and retail choice to local residents

·         Wanted to explore further details around congestion and road safety and how to mitigate issues

·         Welcomed the proposal of a dedicated right hand lane

·         Was concerned about noise for local residents, given the opening hours proposed and suggested that a condition be imposed to mitigate.

 

Alastair Close, representing the applicant, addressed the committee. The main points raised were:

·         The development would bring a multi-million pound investment into the area, 50 new local jobs and enhanced local shopping choice.

·         It would also bring regeneration of a sight that is an eyesore and would be replaced by a contemporary and sustainably designed building.

·         That the applicant had consulted extensively with residents and had received significant support.

·         That the applicant has engaged in comprehensive scrutiny and discussion with Sutton Highways Team, TfL and had been independently audited to ensure development was fully safety compliant.

·         That the applicant had provided evidence of the difference between the site and other Aldi stores in the area to which the site had been compared. He asked that the committee would assess the development on its merits.

·         That there had been no objections from statutory consultees

·         That there are no other existing sites where Aldi could go

·         That Aldi is not a one-stop-shop and local shops would benefit from link trips and spin off trade

·         The design ensured there is no adverse impact on residential amenities, reinforced by suggested decisions such as in respect to opening and delivery times

·         Aldi are market leaders in pay and do not offer zero-hour contracts

 

Alistair Close and Nick Bradshaw, representatives for Aldi, responded to questions posed by members. They confirmed that the impact of noise up to 11pm would be considered if the application was approved but pointed out that a noise assessment, completed as part of the report, deemed that noise levels were acceptable.

 

They confirmed that the transport assessment includes a breakdown of where customers were expected to come from and what mode of transport they use. Given that there are a large number of residential units within 800 metres of the site, there are a large number of people expected to reach the store by foot. They estimated that average customer spend would be roughly £20 per customer and that most customers were expected to be basket shoppers using self-checkout. It was expected that many customers would do multiple small shops each week, given the size of the store.

 

They suggested that having one entrance to the site, rather than two, would minimise interruptions to pedestrians and concentrate traffic movements in one location to reduce confusion. They confirmed that access to the site would be approximately 7 metres.

 

They suggested that peak times for school drop-off / pick-up are not the same as peak times for the store. There are also other examples of where Aldi stores are located close to schools. It was confirmed that there were not usually large spikes in demand for parking spaces at school pick-up times. They confirmed that the car park would be managed by number plate recognition and pedestrian staff to marshal traffic. They also confirmed that the development is subject to a Parking Management Plan that would be reviewed on a regular basis.

 

They confirmed that staff recruitment would be from the local area. They confirmed that some parking spaces may be used by members of staff rather than customers.

 

In debate, Members welcomed the benefits that the application would bring to the local area but also raised concerns about danger caused by traffic entering and exiting the site. There was concern that certain parking spaces were dangerous and would block traffic entering and exiting the site. Some Members suggested that the concerns raised had already been looked at in great detail by the highways authorities.

 

At 22:53, during agenda item 6, Councillor Haldane expressed that she would need to leave for the remainder of the meeting. She did not vote on the item.

Publication date: 06/04/2021

Date of decision: 06/01/2021

Decided at meeting: 06/01/2021 - Planning Committee

Accompanying Documents: