Stuart Jeffery: Green campaigner in Maidstone, nurse, manager, writer, husband and father
Sunday, 25 May 2014
Power Hub - Supermaket petition
Please sign this Change.org petition against a new supermarket on St Peters Street in the Power Hub.
The full appeal is for a Certificate of lawfulness application for use of units G10, G11a, G12, G14 and G15 as Class A1 retail units without restriction as the type or ranges of goods that may be displayed or sold.
The developers state that for the development to be viable it will need to include a major supermarket.
The major reasons for disallowing this permission are as follows:-
Already there is significant traffic congestion at both junctions serving the development. These are at:-
(a) The junction of Buckland Hill and London Road
(b) The junction of St Peter's street and Bridge Gyratory system.
Traffic easing suggestions are to (a) widen Buckland Hill to 3 lanes by removing parking bays and two protected trees
Horse chesnut – TPO 2/2013 (100/352)
Lime – TPO 21/2003 (100/288)
and narrowing the pavement and (b) narrowing the pavement on the newer bridge to permit an extra traffic lane.
Already, the St Peter's Wharf Retail Park (TK Maxx, Asda Home, The Range, Hobbycraft and Wickes) causes congestion, sometimes back to the Bridge Gyratory, thus preventing traffic exiting from Buckland Road and the Lidl car park. The Scotney Gardens development with 230 appartments further adds to the potential for congestion. Anyone living or shopping in these developments, as well as the long suffering residents of Buckland Road (with 2 care homes and their attendant emergency vehicle requirement on occasion) and Buckland Hill will attest to the current traffic difficulties.
Hazzards to School Children
There are three schools, collectively with 2670 students, they are:-
Maidstone Girls Grammar with 1250 students, Maplesden Noakes with 1000 students and Brunswick House Primary with 420 students. Many of these children are dropped off by parents (adding to the long established traffic congestion) but many also walk and use the currently wide pavement of Buckland Hill which is destined for narrowing as part of the proposal. Additional traffic, with drivers possibly frustrated by the congestion, could be a hazzard to the safety of these youngsters.
There is no need for an additional supermarket.
Already there are four supermarkets within walking distance of the proposal, Lidl, Broadway (0.4 miles), Waitrose, Allington (1.3 miles) Aldi, Well Rd (0.6 mile) and Sainsbury Chequers (0.8 miles). Sainsbury have a further supermarket at Aylesford 2.5 miles away, a 10 minute drive. There are also two Tesco Express and a Morrisons Local within walking distance.
It's a listed Building
The former Tilling-Stevens factory, (now Powerhub) 1917 by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners, in collaboration with Truscon, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: the building is the earliest surviving by the practice of Wallis, Gilbert and Partners, the foremost factory architects of the inter-war period; it is also one of few surviving examples of their early Daylight factories not to have undergone significant alteration; * Technical interest: the building is one of few surviving examples of a group of English factories built using the Kahn Daylight System, an adaptable, efficient and influential system of factory building, developed in America for the construction of automotive factories; * Architectural interest: the front elevation of this imposing building employs the compositional devices and decorative motifs which became synonymous with the work of Wallis, Gilbert and Partners; the powerful rationality of its other elevations expresses the modern approach to industrial architecture that its design, construction and layout embodies.
It is one of the few remaining buildings that reflect Maidstone's Industrial Heritage.