Special Open Meeting re Planning Application 10/02657/FUL – Motor World shop site, 340 Lydgate Lane
St Columba’s Church Hall; Friday 3 September 2010
PRESENT: Ian Hague, Gillian D, Steve R; Joan C.; Sandra C; Roger K, Faye B (Crosspool Forum committee); Cllr Brian Holmes and 58 local residents and shopkeepers.
Ian welcomed everyone, & opened the Meeting by explaining that Turner Investments (who used to own GT News) have submitted an application (ref. as above) to Sheffield City Council Planning Dept.
They wish to enlarge the present shop (Motor World) to the side and rear, and change the use of flat above, making the site better financially, with the probability of offering it to interested parties for use as a convenience store.
The wording on their applicant states the development would be “small scale”, attracting only “local customers”, that at present there are “adequate parking facilities” for the development, and there would be no significant increase in customer footfall.
Deliveries would arrive at the front – where the parking is – & they believe this would not adversely affect the other shops in the Crosspool precinct. Ian has had numerous letters, emails & phone calls from concerned residents, so called this meeting. Will this development jeopardize the viability and vitality of the precinct and cause traffic congestion?
No-one from Turners was present at this meeting, so speculation as to it becoming a Tesco or Sainsbury’s was irrelevant.
Various members of the public spoke from the floor with concerns as follows:
- Crosspool already has two ‘dead’ shops; any new ones need to complement the existing & not detract.
- Parking outside the shop can not be adequate – the surrounding streets already have parking problems (especially Lydgate Hall Cres,) & this will be exacerbated. The implied assumption in the planning wording that there is adequate car parking is wrong.
- Access to parking – cars need to drive in & reverse out onto the A57 Manchester Rd – a very busy street.
- Safety issues; this means that reversing vehicles will cross the footway – already a dangerous route for schoolchildren going to Lydgate Primary and Lydgate Junior Schools. Cars coming up from Broomhill would do a right turn (not just a brief hover & quick turn up Lydgate Lane – which in itself is quite a blind corner – but possibly a long wait to see if they could park outside the shop – off the A57). (It has been noted that the recent road closure at the bottom of the A57 by the Broomhill lights caused a definite decrease in traffic and general noise – planning officers visiting when the road works are over would notice a difference)
- Corner site; the Motor World site is on a corner (junction of Lydgate Lane and Manchester Rd) & this development would be too large for such a tricky site.
- Deliveries- as at Crookes (outside Sainsbury’s) a delivery lorry will occupy the whole of the 3 parking spaces. If a ‘convenience store’ takes the site it may want to open from 7am to 11pm – so customers and deliveries could be at all hours – badly affecting the residents of Lydgate Hall Cres, Lydgate Lane & Manchester Rd.
- Shop size; Motor World is a small shop, but the proposed one would be much larger. The nature of the whole precinct of Crosspool is such that only “local shops” would fit in (see UDP & new SDP). (Broomhill is classed as a “district centre”)
- Consultation time for local residents; this has been too short. The original time given was the first week of Aug to first week of Sep – right in the holiday season! However as the notices only went up on 28th or 29th Aug & the bottom ten houses on Lydgate Hall Cres only received their letters on 19th or 20th Aug. the Council has agreed to postpone the final date to receive comments to 17th September 2010.
- Loss of local history; the remaining feature of ‘Lydgate Hall’ is the gate posts, which at the moment still stand on their original site beside Motor World. (See Judith Hanson’s most recent book for photos). These must be preserved & preferably in their present site. There is no mention of this in the application, and Turners did not know of their existence! The planning dept. should also have known of them!
- Change of use; the present site has one residential unit (flat) with large garden & private parking; garage and shop. The new development would increase the floor space by 180 per cent not therefore the stated “small and modest” but huge! This would in no way “fit and compliment” the local area, with a great glass shop front wall & sliding doors.
- Nuisance factor – the deliveries at all hours, long opening hours & therefore customer feet & voices, & potential for litter, are all of concern. The long hours that Spar opens and the restaurants in the precinct are cope-able with as there are not so many dwellings round them.
(Brian agreed to chase up issues with Environmental Health that a lady raised, and the rubbish round the back of the shops at Selborne Rd).
- Local knowledge? Will the planners actually visit the area (especially during school-traffic times – and study the site? There are a lot of elderly people in this area who rely on the small shops staying open, as they often have no cars, and need the community spirit, which Crosspool has to remain.
- School lunchtimes; local residents already have serious issues with the Tapton & King Edwards school sites, especially at lunch time, when the precinct is felt to be overrun by children and not a particularly pleasant place to be in. Yet another shop selling snacks & food would only make this worse – & the busy road that needs to be crossed to reach the proposed site would be a problem – jay walking etc (which already goes on).
Two people can be elected by the local residents to attend the planning meeting and speak, although many more can attend just to observe and listen.
Objections should be sent (preferably individual letters – as these carry more weight- but petitions too) as soon as possible to Ms Sarah Hallam, Development Management, Howden House, 1 Union St, Sheffield S1 2HH. These must be objective and to the point – not emotive; the incorrect assumptions of Turners Investment must be pointed out, and unsustainability of the plan. The objectors to the Commonside/Walkley proposed Tesco have advised people that the traffic and safety issues are very important to bring to planners’ attention.
A resident said that John Hesketh has emailed him and has spoken to Janice Sidebottom who says this application needs to go to a Public Planning Committee (which she will chair). There appears to be a groundswell of opposition already. People were asked to email Janice to insist that this application goes to the Committee.
Another pointed out that there was massive objection to the Bellway Homes development on Sandygate Rd but the planners pushed this through. He asked people to watch out for parallel applications & not just to assume if the first round was won there would not be a second application with slight alterations. Some of the shopkeepers present agreed to start petitions for signatures. Ian Hague will ensure information goes on the Crosspool website, and asked whether people felt a special leaflet drop to all Crosspool houses would be a good idea. Any new volunteers to deliver these leaflets will be very welcome.
The two closed shops were then briefly discussed; the lady who is supervisor at Spar did not know whether Spar held a lease on these two, to prevent another off-licence opening up. As the lease of at least one is coming up for renewal it is thought another company wants to take one on for a wine shop.
The meeting concluded with two residents – Ian & Andy – being voted to attend the Planning Meeting as reps for the community, and they have already started work on a document to present at this. They will also draft the leaflet to get to Ian Hague as soon as possible for immediate printing & delivery. The Meeting may be at the end of Sept; once details are known another local meeting can be arranged.
The Meeting closed.