May 24 2013 Latest news:
Robin Cottle, Reporter
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Northumberland Heath residents managed to persuade councillors to reject Tesco’s plans for an ATM at their new store - but the rest of the plans were passed comfortably.
The changes to the Bexley Road site include modifications to the roof and air conditioning as well as placing luminous Tesco signs outside the store.
The supermarket chain does not need planning permission to move into the store because it had been in retail use as electronics store Wellington’s.
Chairman of the Northumberland Heath residents association Isaac Kwakye said: “Over 400 people who live or work in the Heath have signed a petition against these plans.
“The council has a duty to look at safety concerns. Whenever any vehicle stops on Bexley Road there’s grid lock and Tesco vans would only increase that.”
Mr Kwakye received a round of applause from the public gallery following his speech which had an affect on the councillors who unanimously rejected the possibility of a cash machine being built into the side of the building.
The argument centred around the extra traffic it would bring to the street which the residents association claimed would see people pull up on the corner to use the cashpoint.
Cllr Sean Newman said: “Wellington’s had a much more irregular usage than Tesco’s will.
“There will be huge congestion and at times in the day you simply won’t be able to use the road as is the case even now.”
Planners admitted that Tesco’s plans include 10 metre lorries stopping to unload outside the supermarket three times a day.
Thamesmead and Erith MP Teresa Pearce has written to the applicant on behalf of the residents to show her concern while council chiefs received 21 objections in total.
Mr Kwakye said the residents are ready to fight for the good of their community.
In response Joanne Gladstone, an agent for Tesco’s, said: “The ATM is going to be a service to the local people and will be well-situated with good CCTV.
“There will also be 25 job will be created which will be filled through links with the local job centre to stimulate the area’s economy.”