The hottest topic in my ‘constituent mail bag’ in September is the Aldi Store redevelopment on Bradgate Road, and I’ve been actioning a significant amount of casework from it.
The first issue is around the extension of the site that made its way through planning consent prior to my taking office. The site is simply not suited to further development, it is surrounded on three-sides by residential development and the road infrastructure isn’t conducive to the type of function and scale of operation the are putting on the site and its proximity to residential dwellings. Whilst some of the modifications are welcome, such as an entrance onto Rushey Green and re-planting, the road infrastructure overall I’m concerned about this development and its impact on a residential neighbourhood.
Residents have already reported that Aldi and their contractors have been incredibly inconsiderate in their construction works, often working through the night with power tools that have disturbed residences into the early hours. Residents have had their children kept awake; lack of sleep has affected the well being of scores of neighbours; and I’ve even been made aware of residents who have changed the layout of their home to get away from the night time noise as they sleep. I’ve tried working with all parties over the summer months since being elected, including regional management from the Aldi Store, however despite some concessions they seem to have continually come up short on expectations and have consistently broken the considerate constructor guidance that all developers and their contractors should follow.
Whilst dealing with construction complaints, i took a look at the original planning consent for the site and I discovered that Aldi have been trading outside of permitted hours. Restrictions were put on the site for customer opening times to be between 8am-8pm and deliveries between 7am-9pm, however Aldi have ignored this and have been operating until 10pm most night. Residents have also reported deliveries between 5am and midnight, all of which have been disturbing neighbours, distressing children and causing in my mind a significant amount of loss of amenity, and removing neighbours right to “quiet enjoyment”.
Aldi have now made a retrospective application to Lewisham Council for the restrictions to be removed, and I have written to the Planning Department outlining my concerns. If you are concerned about the development you can write to email@example.com to outline your concerns.
The store and its ongoing works, has also been attracting drug-dealers taking advantage of the chaos on the site to undertake anti-social behavior and drug dealing, obviously this is a concern and something we want to exterminate in its infancy and I’m liaising with residents, the Lewishams Head of Crime Prevention & Rushey Green’s Safer Neighbourhood Team to try and tackle this issue.