Low-cost supermarket chain Aldi has submitted a planning application to build a store on a site in Hove by the A27 Brighton bypass.
The company expects to the new store to create 50 jobs and to reduce the number of customers driving from the area to its existing three shops in Brighton and Portslade.
But Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFoE) has already spoken out against the scheme, saying that it would “increase traffic and carbon emissions”. And some neighbours have road safety concerns.
Aldi’s plans include parking for 120 cars, 26 bikes and three motorbikes. But the company said that it would “promote sustainable transport, with 12 electric vehicle charging spaces … and new pedestrian links to Toad’s Hole Valley”.
Plans for a separate £300 million scheme to build 880 new homes on the neighbouring Toad’s Hole Valley site have already been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council.
Aldi bought the two-and-a-half-acre Court Farm House site for more than £5.5 million last year and said that its planning application would “bring forward a multimillion-pound investment” there.
The site is at the top of the A2038 King George VI Avenue, known locally as Snaky Hill, by the roundabout where thousands of cars join and leave the A27 Brighton bypass each day.
BHFoE said: “Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth is strongly opposed to Aldi’s proposals to build an out-of-town food store at the top of Toad’s Hole Valley.
“It believes the development goes against the City Plan and will increase traffic and carbon emissions.
“This is at a time when the city needs to be drastically reducing emissions and encouraging more people to walk and cycle to improve public health and reduce pressure on the NHS.
“BHFoE is calling on the council not to fall for the greenwash from Aldi, with talk of a green roof and other features.
“While these have merit, the location and focus on car access undermines everything else.
“The 26 cycle parking stands are just box-ticking with the development doing nothing to make the roads safe for people to cycle to the store. Pedestrian access is also poor while no bus services pass the site.”
Chris Todd, of BHFoE, said: “This is a 20th century out-of-town development, not suitable for the 21st century during a climate emergency.
“Standalone stores like this need to be consigned to history as we look to develop integrated communities putting people first.
“The store is surrounded by a sea of car parking in an area where very few people would be likely to walk or cycle given the busy roads and absence of pavements.
“There is no suitable bus service, the nearest being the infrequent 21, accessible through a gap in a wall.
“Overall, the store would increase traffic, congestion and pollution, undermining our ability to reduce carbon emissions.
“If there is a real need for a new store there must be other more suitable sites, including a more central location within Toad’s Hole Valley.
“This would reduce car use as more people would be able to walk and cycle to it and it would be better connected to bus services.
“However, Aldi would still have to demonstrate the need for one as there is currently no provision for it in the City Plan.”
Similar objections have been made in comments received from more than half a dozen people, with some saying that there are already several existing alternative supermarkets in the area.
To see or comment on the plans, visit the council’s website by clicking here and searching for BH2021/03511.
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