Councillors and committees

Agenda item

Planning consultation: 4 Manorgate Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7EL (18/13000/FUL)

To provide comments on the proposed application which will be determined by Development Control Committee

Minutes:

The proposal was brought to this committee for consultation prior to determination on 8 May 2019 by the Development Control Committee.

 

The proposal as set out in the report (Appendix B) seeks permission to demolish the existing buildings (Use Class B8 – storage or Distribution) and to erect a retail foodstore (Use Class A1) with undercroft car parking (44 spaces), external car parking (23 spaces), servicing, landscaping, public footpath improvements, substation, plant equipment and other associated works.  The retail area would be at the first floor.  Whilst the application seeks permission for an unrestricted operator, it is anticipated that the foodstore will be occupied by Lidl. Access to the site would be as existing onto Manorgate Road with widening to allow service vehicles.  Customers would be advised to exit left to avoid the Manorgate Home Zone and store deliveries will be restricted from 7am – 7pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10am – 4pm on Sundays.

 

A presentation was given by Walsingham Planning on behalf of the Applicant which gave details of the design stages, public engagement, the planning application and proposals and questions were answered.

 

The committee and members of the public in the gallery were invited to ask questions and comment on the application.


Questions and Comments from the public:

·         Manorgate is a “Home Zone” and vehicle movements should not exceed 100 per hour.  This is already exceeded. The entrance to the site should be outside the Home Zone.

·         Concerns were raised about air quality arising from the proposal.  Levels of NO2 and NA will increase but already now exceed safe limits.  Following recent leafleting it has been identified that people in flats in the Norbiton station area would drive to the store.   The Applicant confirmed that an Air Quality Assessment has been undertaken and there will be an increase in certain emissions.  Lidl would make a S106 financial contribution for offsite mitigation.

·         Increasing traffic movements to a new store is in conflict with other approaches to reduce pollution eg the recent increase in on street car parking charges dependent on car emissions. 

·         Conflicts with the new Go Cycle scheme were referred to.

·         Will the traffic impacts be put before Development Control Committee?  The Applicant explained that information about traffic movements at Mitcham and Cricklewood stores had been used as they were broadly comparable on a number of factors to the proposed site.  However, the gallery took a different view suggesting that residential density and car ownership in those areas were different compared to Norbiton.  The Applicant explained that the two in-borough locations were not directly comparable as the New Malden store had a shared car park and the residential density at Chessington was lower.

The applicant had carried out an independent survey at the roundabout and whilst the store will change the traffic flow at the roundabout this will not amount to over-capacity. 

·         Crowd funding by residents has supported an independent transport consultant and the view is that this development is likely to cause disruption in the local traffic system which could be the equivalent of permanent road works.  Six travel policies will be breached. 

·         Epsom and Ewell Borough Council refused a Lidl application on traffic grounds one month ago.  The site was entirely comparable and the Epsom view was that increased traffic would give rise to gridlock and safety issues.  The applicant stated that he would be prepared to share the traffic movement data for that application site.

·         Will officer views on traffic impacts will be put to Development Control?  The Highways Engineer confirmed that views will be available for DC.  The Planning Officer confirmed that he had listened to the concerns and had not formulated a recommendation as yet.  He confirmed that he was aware of the Epsom and Ewell decision and air quality was being assessed.

·         The car park and service area design could be unsafe due to HGV delivery lorries passing through the customer car park.  In response the applicant stated it is common to have shared routes and to try to reduce movements.  Service journeys would be outside the peak shopping hours and there would be a maximum of three vehicles per day.  It is anticipated that the car park would be at 80% occupancy at peak times at the weekend.  There will be a dedicated footway for pedestrians and the crossing point close to the entrance will be clearly marked in red as a safeguard.

·         The need for a further supermarket in the Norbiton area was questioned as this has not been identified as a need in the Local Plan.  The Planning Officer, however, confirmed that this was not a planning consideration.

·         The supermarket will impact on existing retailers.

·         Concerns were expressed on the plans:  residents’ properties face the east elevation which will obscuring the present view; the height of the proposed flat roof is 3.2m higher than the existing ridge; the corrugated roof will be an eyesore, there will be negative effects on properties in Burnham Street (conservation area).

The Applicant confirmed that the proposal would be set back 1.2m from the existing boundary; the existing footpath will be widened and lit.

 

Comments from Members of the Committee

·         A question was asked about the traffic analysis undertaken prior to the development of the Chessington Lidl and the Applicant stated he would be happy to share this.  He confirmed that Lidl have submitted vehicle tracking through the roundabout at the junction with Manorgate Road.  

·         It was questioned whether Kingston Hill can enable access to the store for super HGVs and concerns about traffic volumes down Kingston Hill made by members of the public were echoed.

·         It was suggested that discouraging right turns from the site would not necessarily stop traffic moving in that direction.

·         How does car parking space compare to retail space at three Kingston sites?  The applicant confirmed that the Chessington store has 52 parking spaces whereas the Manorgate Road application site has 76. The New Malden site car park is shared.  However, the retail space for Chessington and Manorgate is similar although the back room space at the proposed site is larger.

·         It was suggested that customers make “large shops” at larger supermarkets eg Sainsbury on Richmond Road, whereas “little shops” are made at smaller local stores. The Applicant explained that Lidl’s discount business model offers 1800 lines whereas Sainsbury’s will carry 18,000 to 30,000 lines.  Lidl customers generally make “top up” shops or shop for certain products and their average time in store is 30 minutes.

·         A question was asked about whether store comparisons are limited to Lidl or whether other comparable discounter stores are used.  The Applicant stated that they interrogate the trade database and the best comparable sites were as stated.

·         The earlier concern about the visual height made by members of the public was echoed.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

The comments listed above are considered by the Development Control Committee when determining the application on 8 May 2019.

 

 

Councillors Caroline Kerr (Chair), Rebekah Moll (Vice Chair) and David Cunningham declared interests in this item as they are members of the Development Control Committee which would determine the application.  They would not participate in the discussion on this item but would listen to comments made.

 

Supporting documents: