Special Open Meeting re Planning Application 10/02657/FUL – Motor World shop site, 340 Lydgate Lane
St Columba’s Church Hall; Thursday 21 October September 2010
Present: Ian Hague, Gillian D; Steve R; Sandra C; Ian Jenkinson; Chris Batchelor (Crosspool Forum committee); Cllr Brian Holmes; Cllr Sylvia Anginotti; Iain Grayson, local residents and shopkeepers.
Apologies: Rev Frances Eccleston; Andy Grayson
Ian Hague (Forum Chair) welcomed everyone, reminding them of discussions at the first meeting on 3 September 2010 and their election of Iain and Andrew Grayson to represent the views of the Crosspool community at the Sheffield City Council Planning Meeting. Ian explained that before submitting their presentation, Iain and Andy would like to ensure that the majority view was still the same. He then invited Iain G. to take the floor.
Iain Grayson said the Council had received over 160 letters of objection to Turner Investment’s plans, and a few letters of support . The Council had had to extend the date for the objections, but just before the closing date IG had been told there were no plans to submit this application to the Planning Board. He therefore contacted Janice Sidebottom (Chair of the SW planning board) and requested the application went before them. She agreed to do so and everyone was encouraged to attend the meeting on Tuesday 2 November at 2pm in the Town Hall, Pinstone Street.
Obviously Turner Investments would seek to sell the site on once they had planning permission but their biggest weakness is access and parking. Somehow a rumour started that Tesco Express had asked the Council to sell it the lower part of Lydgate Green for a car park. IG, as a Friend of Lydgate Green, wrote immediately to Paul Scriven, (leader of the Council), and received an overnight reply that this rumour was without foundation; the Council could not sell this green space, which had been given to the people of Crosspool by the Graves Trust.
By this Tuesday, planning officer Sarah Hallam must make a representation as to whether she supports the scheme or not. If she does, the community may have a battle on its hands, but if not the scheme will most probably be defeated. Careful not to be emotive, IG and Andy will be at the 2nd November meeting to give a five minute presentation on planning law, the possible impact on the local community and the environment. He believes it’s naive to say there are no health and safety issues with regard to the access (corner site, backing into the traffic, school children walking past etc) and has been up at Crookes to see at first hand the chaos there when delivery lorries attempt to deliver to the Co-op and Sainsbury’s, at the same time.
Various members of the public spoke from the floor with concerns and comments as follows:
- A lady wished to stress the busy nature of the crossing with the schoolchildren.
- Flat tenant said that Motor World had been put into administration a year ago and since bought out. Rental for the site £5,000 per month. If Turners wanted Motor World out quickly they would need to pay £60,000. Presently the shop has very low footfall.
- Although she appreciated that her idea might considered be a red herring, a lady asked whether it would be possible for the community to purchase the lease and then let the shop to a sympathetic concern
- It was mentioned that of course Turner Investments may well resubmit the plans in a different form if this does not go through -so residents will have to be vigilant
- Sandra pointed out that cash-rich Tesco is very ready to buy any plots of land that may come up, just in case they may be able to get planning permission in years to come.
- The possibility of insisting on a site visit was raised; Sylvia said sometimes the planners do go ahead without actually visiting sites! IG agreed, he had the distinct impression the planners had been prepared to let it go ahead without one.
- The flat owner said he knew the Highways Agency had been asked to submit a report, but as far as he was aware this is not yet available online. IG agreed to phone to ask why. He felt that even if the plans were scaled back Turners would try to say the four car parking spaces were sufficient, so the impossibility of pulling out backwards onto the main road at a junction must be pointed out.
- A gentleman agreed we need real statistics for this – e.g. near-misses of cars and other traffic/pedestrians, number of school children, parents and siblings in buggies going past, both to get to and from school and at lunchtime. There are four schools in the vicinity and a supermarket will be a magnet to the Tapton pupils. There could well be 500+ children. Sadly, two of the schools are now closed for half-term, so any counting at the moment would not be accurate.
- The reason behind the closure of the original car park turn from Manchester Road into the Croospool Tavern parking area was discussed. Ian H said that the access drive was due to be grassd over two years ago as part ofthe S10 corridor scheme, but had never got done (taxis etc are known to drive in and reverse out into the traffic). The Councillors agreed to find out what status this grassing over was at – red, amber or green.
- A lady mentioned the Lydgate Junior School survey a couple of week ago, where pupils were asking shoppers questions about their use of the area. It was suggested the schools themselves be more involved – perhaps even to present something to the Council.
- Shops’ petition? It will help to keep the momentum up and also people focussed, but every petition just counts as one objection. Involve the press?
- The gentleman who had mentioned the Lydgate Hall gates asked again whether these could be listed, and even though Turner’s architects were prepared to move them into Lydgate Green people wanted them to stay where they were.
- The flat tenant has photos of blockages in front of the premises (brewery delivery vehicle and bin lorries).
Ian ended the meeting, concluding that the majority were still opposed to the planning application, primarily on the grounds of health and safety, and that there was a Crosspool Forum Open Meeting, on Thursday 28 October 2010.