Portslade supermarket criticised by planners

Posted On 23 Nov 2011 at 3:43 pm

A Portslade supermarket is being investigated for suspected breaches of planning rules.

Aldi, in Carlton Terrace, by Portslade Station, has already been fined by Brighton magistrates in a long-running dispute with Brighton and Hove City Council.

In response the store asked the council’s Planning Committee to relax two planning conditions which form part of the dispute.

It asked for free parking to be restricted to two not three hours. And it said that only two resident parking bays were needed for the flats above rather than the five stipulated by the council.

Planning officer Steven Lewis said Aldi was originally granted permission for more parking spaces than usual to support other shops in the area.

The supermarket company said that it had carried out a survey of shoppers and that its proposal would not detract from the vitality of the Boundary Road and Station Road area.

It said that the landlord of the flats above the shop, the Guinness Trust, had wanted only two parking spaces – not five. The Guinness Trust opposed Aldi’s request to set aside fewer spaces for residents.

Councillor Les Hamilton criticised Aldi for citing the landlord’s wishes when the planning conditions were clear.

Complaints

The veteran Labour councillor, who represents South Portslade, said: “I’ve had all sorts of complaints from residents about the shop operating out of hours.

“The parking bays for residents have never been signposted.”

He said that he had lost confidence in Aldi.

Fellow Labour councillor Bob Carden, who represents North Portslade, said: “I shop at the store and can never work out where the residents’ bays are.

“There are two days when the car park is packed – on a Sunday and a Thursday when they’ve got their special offers on.”

Patcham Conservative councillor Carol Theobald said: “Saturdays are busy too. I wish there were more staff in there. The turnover (in the car park) would be quicker if there were.”

Mr Lewis said: “The site is subject to a breach of condition notice regarding opening hours. It is also subject to a planning investigation.

Green Central Hove councillor Christopher Hawtree pointed out how well the area was served by public transport, particularly buses.

Councillors voted to cut the free parking limit from three to two hours. Aldi threatens a £70 fine to overstayers.

The committee rejected Aldi’s request to reserve two bays for residents rather than five.

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