This is the statement Tim Parkinson submitted on behalf of the Community Council: –
Aldi Retail Store, Crow Lane – Application: 08103574lF
Statement on behalf of Henbury & Brentry Community Council
If you refer to the back of the Development Control document and study the aerial photo of the site taken when the swimming pool was extant you will understand the problem facing the Community Council in deciding whether to support this application.
On the one hand it would clearly be in the interest of the community to have access to the deeply discounted Aldi range.
On the other hand as the photo demonstrates the site is clearly distant from the existing Crow Lane shops and thus must be considered as a separate site. And the proposed building will occupy a very prominent position in an otherwise pleasant green ‘lung’ and park. Future generations may have cause to question our judgement with the building in place and also its alignment with the building not set back from the road.
It is likely that a discount store on Crow Lane will bring more people to shop locally in Crow Lane and thus the existing shops will benefit from more potential customers even if they are subject to competition from the limited Aldi range. However this is likely to be at the cost of an increase in cars using the limited car parking along and behind the existing shops as most people shopping at the new store by car would then drive to the existing shops to complete their purchases with newspapers, toiletries, etc. This is because the distance between the centres there and back will discourage walking as it would require between 5 and 10 minutes to do this.
Specifically, the elderly (Henbury, we understand, has a higher number per 1000 residents than most of Bristol), parents shopping with children, the handicapped and those living away from bus routes in Brentry and Henbury are unlikely to be able to benefit from the use of both centres without local transport facilities of the small community bus type.
This leads directly to the Community Council position on this application. This has been determined as being conditional support for the application on the basis that Aldi undertake to provide significant and ongoing financial support for local community transport to connect the remoter parts of Brentry and Henbury with the existing retail centres and, of course, to bring customers directly into the Aldi store. The whole area of Brentry does not have access to a bus service which takes them directly past the proposed store until 7:00 pm,This would also contribute to a reduction in C02 emissions and local congestion as car drivers could leave their cars at home Without this the long term benefits of the proposed store to the community are limited with the store in this location.
Finally, two more detailed matters of concern following our perusal of the Development Control document published on 7th January:
In view of the intermittently heavy and speeding traffic flow along Crow Lane a pedestrian controlled crossing to service the store is clearly required.
The Community Council is very anxious that the site and car park will be physically secure when the store is closed to prevent unauthorised access and use of the car park and other areas .