St Mary's Centre
By Haddenham Webteam - 14th April 2016 12:00pm
At a recent planning meeting of Haddenham parish council, Sainsbury's presented an overview of its plans to turn 'Chiltern House' (the office building on the Thame Road -- located close to the garden machinery supplier, George Browns Ltd ) into a 'Sainsbury's Local' convenience store.
Following that meeting, the parish council submitted formal objections to AVDC planners, based on concerns such as:
* A net loss of employment (through closure of businesses operating from Chiltern House)
* Loss of much needed small business/office accommodation
* Potential duplication of shopping provision on the Lands Improvement (airfield) site
* Noise from the aircon units
* Lack of adequate parking — and the further reduction by four spaces during large truck delivery times — with on-road impact on Thame Road
In early April, Lands Improvement, the company looking to develop the airfield site, also lodged similar objections with AVDC.
In summary, its objections are these:
- The proposals involve the loss of a valuable office building which plays an important economic role within Haddenham, meeting specific local market needs;
- The loss of the offices will have an adverse impact on the local economy;
- The role currently played by Chiltern House cannot be accommodated elsewhere in Haddenham;
- As a consequence of the above the proposals are contrary to the Development Plan (including the recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan) and the NPPF;
- Regardless of the proposals being contrary to the Development Plan and principles of the NPPF, there is no proven retail need for a retail convenience facility in Haddenham that cannot be met by existing or proposed facilities;
- Chiltern House lies outside of the village centre and is the least preferred location for retail under the provisions of the NPPF;
- Consent has recently been granted for a retail convenience store only 250m away from the Site, as part of a mixed residential and employment scheme at Haddenham Airfield;
- That store is an important and integral part of the comprehensive wider mixed-use development at the Haddenham Airfield site, and is identified by Officers to be important in serving the needs of future and existing residents of Haddenham; and
- There are no benefits arising from the proposed retail use on this Site and certainly none which would outweigh the significant adverse consequences of this proposal. This is clearly a case where the loss of the existing offices should not be permitted.
If you would like to read the details of Sainsbury's planning application or have views to offer AVDC, you can do so here.
You are also welcome to express your opinion in our Share & Chat forum, of course.