BSCF objections to planning application for former Lancaster's Garage, London Road

Letter to Mr Plummer, Development Control, East Herts District Council

Development Control
East Herts Council
Wallfields
Pegs Lane
Hertford. SG13 8Q
24 February 2011

Dear Mr. Plummer,

Re: Application No: 3/11/0153/FP: Former Lancaster's Garage, London Road, Bishop's Stortford.

I am writing on behalf of the Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation to register our objections to the above application.

Whilst we are aware that this application will be determined solely on planning criteria, the Federation would have much preferred to have seen the areas covered by the old Lancaster's Garage and the ex-Fyfe Wilson sites planned as a total unit, rather than as two separate, possibly incompatible, developments. Indeed, the Federation goes further and feels that these areas should be incorporated into the planning design for the Goods Yard site as a whole, taking into account the Council's own 2020 Vision for the Town.

The Federation objects to the application on a number of planning grounds:

  1. Unsuitability of the site for large store retail use due to London Road being, essentially, a through road.
  2. Unsuitability of the site for a large retail store use. The retail centre of the town is to the west and north on the other side of the railway.
  3. Traffic movements and deliveries with the associated noise, particularly in the early morning and late at night, would adversly affect nearby residents and those above the development.
  4. Ingress and egress onto the busy London Road. However, this problem may be alleviated by having a yellow box placed outside the entrance to ensure that anyone turning right from the Hockerill Street direction always has clear access, minimizing any traffic congestion back to Hockerill Street.
  5. The location of the development would add to traffic congestion on one of the busiest routes of the local road network, particularly at the Station Road - London Road junction.
  6. There are concerns over road safety, given the heavy use of the London Road pelican crossing that allows safe access to and from Warwick Road and the railway station, particularly during the morning and evening rush hours.
  7. As Lidl’s will, almost certainly, ensure that the store car park is for customers’ use only, there is likely to be increased pressure on parking in Warwick Road and adjacent roads as a result of the intensified use of the site. This could possibly be solved by a S106 Agreement to fund a residents’ parking scheme in the immediate area.

This is a major development proposal for an important site in Bishop's Stortford and the Federation would like to be assured that the application will be determined by the Development Control Committee rather than by officers.

The Federation may also wish to send a representative to speak against the application. Finally, with the redevelopment of this site an opportunity has been missed to widen the London Road - Station Road junction on the Lancaster's Garage side. Presently, if vehicles are waiting to exit Station Road onto London Road, buses and large vehicles are prevented from turning into Station Road until those vehicles have cleared. This frequently causes hold-ups along London Road south of the junction. Having a larger sweep from London Road into Station Road would help to alleviate this problem.

Yours sincerely,

Les Pinnell (For the Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation)