Cllr JANE MORGAN SPEECH FOR TESCO PLANNING MEETING 8TH SEPTEMBER 2009 Mr Chairman, members of the committee. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent the views of the many residents in the Hale End and Highams Park ward who have contacted their local councillors with regards to the proposed development. Hopefully this short contribution will act as a summation of their views. We have received well over a hundred letters and emails, spoken to many residents and attended public meetings about the proposal.
We have had many communications which have simply said ‘no’ to a Tesco development on the site. But it would be remiss not to mention the correspondence we have had from those expressing support for the scheme. Some small businesses have told us they hope a Tesco would bring customers to the area.
However we’ve had many responses from those who do not necessarily object to the idea of a Tesco, but
have expressed concerns about the scale of this particular application.
They are concerned that: 1. The proposed building is too large and prominent for the area. Residents feel that they do not need a store on this scale and have concerns about such a major development in such a small area. 2. There are too many houses proposed for the space they would occupy which would mean many more children needing school places, more people needing health care, more problems with parking and traffic congestion. 3. The traffic survey, even though two have been carried out, is not regarded as adequate by residents and the findings are not trusted by the people who live there. Traffic congestion is a major source of concern in Highams Park – the barriers on the level crossing already go down 8 times an hour at peak times. This causes congestion, and placing a major retail outlet and ‘home zone’ close to the level crossing will simply increase existing congestion – a situation
that would be compounded if the Hall Farm Curve were to be brought back into use.
Any scheme of this nature will produce costs as well as benefits. The proposal aims to create houses and jobs, and they are needed in our area. Investment in the Highams Park economy is also needed if the local High Street is to survive in the current difficult economic times. But do these possible benefits out-weigh the costs that come from the scale of the current scheme? Many of our residents are concerned that the current scale of the development means they do not. I thank the committee for their time, and I urge you to consider these views.