Aldi plans revealed for Eastbourne
Planning documents submitted to Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) say: “[The] application site is in an accessible location for Sovereign Harbour and surrounding residential areas, and despite being allocated for development for over 30 years and having outline planning permission for eight years no development has progressed on the site. The introduction of a nationally recognised and award-winning food retailer will secure the long-term productive use of an underutilised designated development site and make a valuable contribution to the local economy.”
The application says: “It should be noted however that despite being separate applications all are reliant on one another in terms of coming forward. If one were to be refused the remaining two would no longer be viable and would subsequently need to be withdrawn and reconsidered.”
Concerns were raised by residents and councillors at a public consultation about access to the store. Read more on that here.
This planning application refers to the access concerns being a ‘principal matter discussed’ at the public consultation. Documents say: “From these meetings the applicant has explored the potential for an alternative access to the north of the site from Pevensey Bay Road rather than that of Pacific Drive which was originally discussed at pre-application discussions with the council. However, creation of a new access along this main road would not be feasible as such the existing access which is intended from Pacific Drive is the preferred option.”
Conservative Councillor Kshama Shore attended the consultation. She said: “What does feasible mean? If it means it will be expensive then they should reach deep into their pockets and find the extra money. What is the point of consultation if they will not listen to the feedback from the community it wants to serve? This request for an alternative access is not just a whim. It is a case of safety at so many levels.”
Conservative Councillor Penny di Cara said: “To seek consultation and then completely ride roughshod over the submissions is not in the best traditions of planning.”
Public comments are already flooding in too. As of 12pm on November 9 there were already 82 letters with the majority objecting to the plans. Objections centred around access yet again. Resident Nancy Dickson-Fisher said: “This proposal has completely disregarded the comments and objections put forward by local residents to the consultation. I object to the access to this store being via Pacific Drive, this is a single carriageway road that is the only access road to ALL the properties in North Harbour. This road cannot cope with the extra traffic that will be generated by this store and will cause severe congestion and delays. It should not be built unless access can be from the existing roundabout on Pevensey Road, or directly from Pevensey Road.”
Andrew Denley also objects and said: “At best, Aldi need to be strongly encouraged to look at an alternative access point and road changes to minimise traffic congestion along the A259 and to exclude the need for shoppers to enter Pacific Drive for access to the shop.”
Angus Bannerman said: “The dire safety consequences of a traffic accident on Pacific Drive would block access for emergency vehicles including ambulances, GP visiting, buses and shingle lorries, RNLI etc, not to mention the thousands of harbour residents who rely on the Pacific Drive cul-de-sac with ONE entrance.”
The small number of supportive letters for the plans said there is a ‘need’ for a store like Aldi. Eloise Turner said: “The town needs the jobs and we need another store to give Hampden Park a break from traffic.”
Members of the public can comment on the plans until December 1 and there is a target determination date of February 1 next year (reference: 220849).