When Are We Going To Get Our Local Shops Back ?

On Saturday 16th September, 2011 our local Tesco Express was burnt out. Along with the Tesco store we also lost our pharmacy and a Chinese take-away.

The News reported Thursday 29 March, 2012 that ….

Officials at Brookton 2000 Ltd, which owns the site, said they were working up a planning application for the rebuild of Tesco and the pharmacy.

Daniel Kaye, director of Brookton 2000 Ltd, based in Chandler’s Ford, said: ‘We have a team of professionals appointed and we are working on submitting an application. Then it is in the hands of the local authority.

‘Once we get planning permission, we can look to appoint contractors.

‘Unfortunately these things take longer than members of the general public think.’

Mr Kaye said the shops would be back open in 18 months’ time at the very latest. But he said he hoped the rebuild would be sooner.

On April 8th of this year I posted about how long it was taking for any work to begin to replace the afore-mentioned business premises.

Fort Lavender
Fort Lavender

Fifteen months have gone by since the fire and nothing seems to have happened on the site.

15 months on - Our Local Shops - Lavender Road, Waterlooville
15 months on – Our Local Shops – Lavender Road, Waterlooville

The photo above shows that the roof has gone from the pharmacy and supermarket areas. The blue tarp covers some part of the chinese take-away roof where the fire brigade broke through, presumably to ensure that the fire wasn’t still burning out of sight.

Planning application has indeed been made to the council and has been approved. See APP/12/00650

The approval of the application, on 21st August, comes with some conditions.

1) The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of 3 years from the date on which this planning permission was granted.Reason: To comply with Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

So we could be waiting some time before the rebuild gets started. It would have been better from a residents perspective if the council had enforced a more stringent timetable.

3) No development hereby permitted shall be commenced until a detailed soft landscaping scheme for all open parts of the site not proposed to be hard-surfaced has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Such scheme shall specify the proposed finished ground levels in relation to the existing levels, the distribution and species of ground cover to be planted, the positions, species and planting sizes of the trees and shrubs to be planted and/or retained, and timing provisions for completion of the implementation of all such landscaping works.
The implementation of all such approved landscaping shall be completed in full accordance with such approved timing provisions. Any tree or shrub planted or retained as part of such approved landscaping scheme which dies or is otherwise removed within the first 5 years shall be replaced with another of the same species and size in the same position during the first available planting season.
Reason: To ensure the appearance of the development is satisfactory and having due regard to policies CS11, CS16 and DM8 of the Havant Borough Core Strategy 2011 which form part of the Local Development Framework and National Planning Policy Framework, March 2012.

It’s good to see that work cannot commence until the really important issues have been thrashed out. I would have thought it was more important to get a major part of the local infrastructure reinstated i.e. rebuild and reopen the stores, rather than argue over the type of shrubs to be planted.

4) The buildings shall not be occupied until space for the loading, unloading and parking of vehicles has been provided within the site, surfaced and marked out in accordance with the approved details. Such areas shall thereafter be permanently retained and used solely for those purposes.
Reason: In the interests of highway safety and having due regard to policy DM13 of the Havant Borough Core Strategy 2011 which forms part of the Local Development Framework and National Planning Policy Framework, March 2012.

This condition has me confused. The original goods entrance and specifically the area immediately in front of it appears, according to the proposed ground floor plan, to be allocated as disabled parking. If this is for the “sole” use of the disabled, where will goods vehicles load and unload ?

According to the plans there will be a new construction and entrance at the northern end of the building, immediately adjacent to Lavender Road. If that is intended to be used as the main goods entrance into the building, implying that the goods vehicles are to be parked in Lavender Road, we will have a road safety disaster on our hands. The parking of articulated lorries in this area of the road has already caused several near misses to my knowledge.

I would have preferred to have seen some provision for goods vehicle access or at the very minimum a restriction placed on the supermarket operator to only use small to medium-sized vans for the delivery of stock. It isn’t only Tesco vehicles in the past that have caused problems as I have seen articulated lorries delivering milk and bread to this site.

So, when are we going to get our local shops back ?

The pharmacy has been trying to maintain its presence by operating out of a converted industrial container. Word from the container has it that they will be returning to a proper shop around Easter 2013.

Mr Daniel Kay, that’s 20 months. not “18 months at the latest” …..  nor is it “sooner”

Some of the folks who used to work at the burnt out Tesco Express have been redeployed to Tesco’s Grassmere Way Store. Or maybe that’s Tempest Road. Not sure since Tesco can’t seem to make up their own mind according to their own web site. As we locals know Tempest Road is actually Tempest Avenue. But I digress.

Having spoken to some of the Lavender Road expats it seems that they have not heard anything about Tesco resuming operations.

Is this because Tescos will not be coming back ? If not, then who will be operating from the rebuilt store and when ?

By the way, going back to the Tesco website, they don’t seem to have noticed that their store is no longer open. They still show the Lavender Road store as being open seven days a week.

When Are We Going To Get Our Local Shops Back ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: