Fringe Box



Aldi Plans for Green Man Site at Burpham – Survey Results Awaited

Published on: 6 Aug, 2012
Updated on: 20 Aug, 2012

The Green Man Site, surrounded by hoardings, on the junction of the London Road and Burpham Lane

A survey of the views of Burpham residents, on the latest proposal from Aldi to build a low price store on the old Green Man site, closed on Saturday (4 Aug). Organisers, Burpham Community Association (BCA), are due to announce the results at a public meeting, once they have been considered by the association’s committee.

A recent independent on-line poll found most respondents to be in favour of the proposal but the small sample size, just 75 individuals, throws some doubt on how representative this result is.

Some locals remain saddened by the demise of the Green Man. A pub had stood on the site at the junction of London Road and Burpham Lane, from at least the late 16th century. In 1984, it closed as a pub to re open as a 120 seat Harvester restaurant but was still considered to be a community asset. Following the closure of the restaurant, early in 2006, the site was sold for redevelopment.

A view over the top reveals an extensive site

A proposal followed that the building be demolished and replaced by an Aldi supermarket, with 75 parking spaces and 14 flats. This was opposed by 1,700 local residents. Despite assurances that demolition would not take place until planning permission was obtained, roofing tiles were removed, leaving the building vulnerable to weather damage. As a result it became derelict eyesore and complete demolition took place in December 2008.

Recently, on 18 July, Aldi gave an exhibition of their revised plans, which no longer include residential units, at Sutherland Hall in Burpham. More than 600 people attended. During the exhibition a presentation was given by Aldi which provoked much vigorous debate and discussion. Aldi asked all those that attended to complete a questionnaire. The company are now understood to be analysing the results.

Despite the extra job opportunities that would come with a new store, concerns that have been expressed locally relate to the impact on local traffic and the effect on nearby businesses that might find it difficult to compete with the discounted prices Aldi offers.

Tony Teal, Treasurer of the Burpham Community Association committee, said: “Our survey is intended to determine the views of local people. To that end only one question was asked-are you in favour of Aldi’s proposals? – with a yes/no response. We then also requested residents to give us their opinions. No leading or biased questions, just tell us what you think. We felt that this approach will give a far more balanced appraisal so that we can represent the whole community. The results are still being collated and will take a little longer to analyse but will be presented to residents at a public meeting early in September.”

Cllr Richard Billington, speaking on behalf of the Guildford Conservatives at Guildford Borough Council said: “Any application from Aldi will have to go through the normal process and we must be careful not to pre-judge any associated issues. Local residents are expressing their views forcefully, quite properly, as is their right and we are aware of them. All views expressed both for and against the application, when it is made, will be carefully considered, under the normal rules, as they are with any planning proposal.”

Aldi have been invited to comment. If a comment is received it will be added.

Are you a Burpham resident? Are you affected by the Aldi plans? Are you for or against an Aldi discount store on the Green Man site? Please use the ‘Leave a Reply’ feature below to have your say. Full names must be given by email addresses will not be divulged.

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