Angry Hanham residents prepare for fresh battle over Tesco plans
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to stop Tesco from trying again to build a superstore on a derelict patch of land in Hanham.
The supermarket chain wanted to build a new store on the former Kleeneze site behind the High Street. But councillors threw out the scheme in December 2009 after an outcry by local residents.
Tesco has now submitted new plans – this time with a smaller, single storey supermarket which is closer to the High Street. They are also allowing a firm to remain on site and making provision for two new industrial units.
One of the reasons the last scheme was turned down was because the site is zoned for industrial use.
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Mother of three Abbey Davies, 45, is a swimming teacher who lives in Anstey's Drive, a small cul-de-sac which would be used as an access to the new store.
She said: "If this store goes ahead, then it will just mean an accident waiting to happen.
"There are four schools which are very close to the site and we will get articulated lorries driving down my road and New Walk which are just not meant to take big vehicles.
"The roads around here are already jammed with traffic so the idea of more people coming here is just going to mean gridlock."
She said the planning application was submitted on May 10 but the council did not send out letters to residents about the planning application until the end of the month.
She said: "We think the council is trying to get this pushed through because we have just not had a proper chance to make our views known."
Vivianne Williams, 55, a nurse at Frenchay Hospital who also lives in Anstey's Drive, said: "I don't want to live opposite a Tesco store, no one would. The noise, pollution and extra traffic is going to be awful.
"I bought my house only a year ago after I was assured that Tesco would not try again to build a new store – and now this.
"They say it's a smaller store than last time but it's still about the same size as the one in Keynsham."
Margaret Berry, whose husband Patrick campaigned against the previous Tesco scheme and died earlier this year, said: "Tesco have said there will be about 4,000 cars a day to the new store, yet there will only be 228 car parking spaces.
"I dread to think what the traffic would be like – Memorial Road where I live is already a very busy road which young children use everyday to walk to school."
The residents have already received the backing of Kingswood Tory MP Chris Skidmore who is carrying out a survey in the village to gauge people's reaction to the latest plans.
He said: "Unlike supermarkets on the edge of the ring road, we face the prospect of lorries coming through unmapped roads which are not suitable for such big vehicles.
"There is also the question of Hanham's capacity to cope with a new supermarket such as this.
"I know a lot of people want to see something done with this derelict site and it would mean about 160 new jobs for the area but I just think this site is inappropriate for this use."
He said if planning permission is granted, then conditions should be imposed to lessen the impact of the new store.
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: "The council strongly encourages people to submit comments during the formal 21 day consultation period.
"The council acknowledges that for this application the formal period ended on June 12, and any planning application comments received after the deadline will be considered right up to the point that the application goes to committee for a decision."