Fringe Box



Burpham Residents Agree To Oppose Aldi Planning Application

Published on: 23 Oct, 2012
Updated on: 29 Oct, 2012

Standing room only clearly demonstrates the strong feelings that exist among Burpham residents over the Ali proposal.

Burpham residents met last night (October 22) to discuss the new controversial planning application for the construction of an Aldi supermarket on the Green Man site.

A desire to oppose to the application as effectively as possible seemed to be shared by all the hundred, or so, residents present at the meeting, organised by the Burpham Community Association (BCA) and held in the Sutherland Hall.

But one resident said that although he did not like the Aldi proposal he also disliked the current derelict site which he overlooked. He was concerned that only preventing the Aldi development could be a hollow victory.

Much of the discussion focussed on the likely impact on local traffic which all present agreed was already too congested, especially during rush hour periods. Representatives from Aldi had been invited to the meeting but had declined.

The results of a survey conducted by BCA were also announced. 434 individuals responded. 77% were against the Aldi proposal proceeding, 20% were in favour and 3% undecided.

The top five stated reasons given by those who opposed the proposal for an Aldi store were: traffic congestion; already sufficient food stores; parking; inappropriate design and size; and damaging competition to existing shops.

The top five reasons given by those who wished to proposal to proceed were: competition for Sainsbury’s; regeneration of a derelict area; more choice; concerns about traffic/parking & safety; and desire to shop at an Aldi store.

At the end of the meeting a vote was taken and it seemed to be unanimously agreed by those present that the application should be opposed.

Cllr Christian Holliday makes a point while Cllr Monika Juneja takes notes

Two Guildford Borough Councillors, both Conservatives, who represent Burpham Ward were present at the meeting: Christian Holliday and Monika Juneja. When asked for their reaction to the meeting, Cllr Holliday said: “I’m very pleased with the turnout at tonight’s meeting and the responsible manner in which residents made contributions to the debate.  Six years ago the debate was far more emotional as Aldi’s purchase of the Green Man site meant the end of a long-standing public house.

“Tonight, there was far more focus on the planning merits of the application before us.  The importance of the former Green Man site to Burpham is immense and we must get any potential development absolutely right.  I would encourage everyone to view the planning application on the Council’s website to better understand the proposals and submit comments to planning officers where appropriate.”

Cllr Juneja added: “Burpham residents have been in limbo for years with this site, as a planning committee member I remain unbiased but residents need to make sure if they are for or against this development they use this time to have their say.  I would remind people however that this is not a question of their shopping habits but instead focus on planning grounds only.”

Meeting over, conversations continue on the best way to proceed

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Responses to Burpham Residents Agree To Oppose Aldi Planning Application

  1. David Smith

    October 24, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I have to say the picture says it all really: spot a person in there under the age of 60 years old.

    Aldi have engaged with GBC and revised their plans to accommodate Burpham and the store will only make a positive contribution to this area, not to mention the provision of additional jobs.

    In the current economic downturn, GBC would be absolute fools to turn this application down. What do Burpham want, more flats?

    When this is approved, even if it is by appeal, I suggest Aldi put this photograph in their new store and tick off all of the people in it that pop in to do their shopping. Bit like the Harvester really, no one went but they soon complained when it was gone. Madness.

  2. Trevor Wicks

    October 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I am not sure who David Smith is or what impact this store would have on him. Perhaps he has no interest in Burpham. Could it be that the over 60’s are the ones who care about the future, the safety of the future generations and the quality of life.
    I have visited Aldi at Camberley, Abergervenny and Walton on Thames. If David Smith had been at the meeting he would realise the concern is about the impact on traffic and parking, not only cars but delivery lorries.
    I would also like to say I was a regular visitor to the Green Man for lunch and you usually had to book at the week-end. I have spent at lot of time in Asia they are trying to improve their standards. Why should we lower ours?

  3. David Smith

    October 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Trevor Wicks comments that in Asia they are trying to improve standards and that we should not lower ours.

    I am confused. Is the issue traffic? Burpham residents said one of their five reasons for not supporting it was, “already sufficient food stores.” Surely this means no additional traffic other than the occasional deliveries at off peak times, or is the real issue that the brand doesn’t fit in with the area?

    I believe people are generally in support of this application and I would be astonished if it gets refused. What would be the planning grounds? My point is that a small section of society, in this case those shown in the picture, believe they represent the whole and future generations when they don’t. Look at the picture. Where are the 30 – 60 year olds? We need jobs and more choice. You only have to look at the demand for Marks & Spencer in Merrow.

    I have lived in the area since I was a young boy, in 1985, and I have never had to book for the Harvester (not that I would of done) – if it had been that popular Mitchells & Butler would never have sold out, the brand still exists. Getting rid of the place, to my mind, has improved standards.

    Good luck Aldi!

    • Trevor Wicks

      October 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

      I wonder if David Smith can say why he is keen to see Aldi in Burpham? Is it the 35 jobs they offer? Is it to stick two fingers up to Sainsbury’s? Or is it the inexpensive food Aldi sells?

      I am very concerned about the traffic and the parking. I don’t like stack it high, sell it cheap, retailing of products. Can you tell me which Aldi you have visited and what your experience was? Mine was bad.

      I respect David Smith’s right to express his view and he is probably right it will be approved but I and the 100 people who turned up to express their view at the meeting have a right too. That is democracy. It is true that many of us were over 60 but you don’t automatically become senile on your 60th birthday. David Smith will be 60 one day!

  4. Roger Marjoribanks

    October 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    The crime was to destroy the Green Man building leaving a derelict site. What would have been great would have been to design a pub/restaurant which would have been an icon welcoming visitors, on their entry to Guildford, with the promise of convivial hospitality.

    I’m sure that plenty of people will welcome Aldi, but what a horrible commercialised impression it will give on our main approach road: petrol station; 2nd hand car shop; and cut-price food store, with only the Sutherland Memorial Park to relieve it.

    Note: Roger Marjoribanks is the author of the book Burpham – Norman Manor to Suburban Village.

  5. Dennis Paul

    October 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    It seems clear from the story that the elderly participants did not want Aldi on the site. Did anyone say what they did want? Opposition is easy, but putting forward a constructive alternative is necessary for the future of this site.

  6. Roger Marjoribanks

    October 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I might have added that there has been an inn on the site (until it was vandalised) since the days of Henry VIII – but I know that history, sadly, means nothing to so many people. The point is that this was the ideal point at which to welcome the weary traveller on his journey south-west, a welcome which alas no longer exists.

  7. Graham Hibbert

    October 25, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Perhaps Mr Smith did not attend the meeting where it was presented that, out of a survey of over 400 local residents run by the BCA, some 80% were against the development. Their major concern was that Burpham’s roads were overcapacity already and people did not want the new traffic this store would bring from a wide surrounding area, into Burpham.

    On what grounds can Mr Smith “believe people are generally in support of this application”?

  8. Liz Critchfield

    October 25, 2012 at 11:46 am

    As secretary of the BCA I was at the meeting, and I can assure David Smith that there were many people present well below the age of 60; to come to an ageist conclusion on the basis of a photograph seems rather bizarre. He may also like to know that I am aware that quite a few residents who wish to see Aldi succeed are pensioners.

    I concede that there may have been more old than young at the meeting; perhaps this says something about the age at which people begin to take an interest in community matters.

  9. Jim Allen

    October 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    The only comment I will make to the ‘application for development’ on the Old Green Man Site is, before shouting I suggest that critics of the meeting actually read the application paperwork all 579 pages as I have done, then read the National Planning Policy Framework and then do the maths on the statistics provided. I calculate the answer to be 554,000 trips per year, 500 per hour and 60 movements per hour.

    Personally I don’t think the site is fit for its intended purpose.

    I would also comment that the youngsters were actually standing around the room as opposed to using the chairs, so if anyone was at fault it was the photographer, Martin Giles, for failing to show the true demograph of the attendees in his picture.

  10. Sarah Taylor

    October 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I agree with David Smith. Dennis Paul also makes an extremely valid point, you all seem to moan about what you don’t want on the site but haven’t mentioned any alternatives.

    Trevor, 35 jobs are better than none, stop moaning or put forward something that you think should go on the site perhaps?

    Liz, you claim Mr Smith’s comments are ageist yet you make an ageist remark yourself, suggesting that older people tend to take more of an interest in what goes on in the community. I am in my twenties and take an interest in what goes on in the local area. I also live in Burpham yet have never heard of the “BCA”, I am fed up of community groups such as the BCA claiming to speak for everyone, you don’t.

    I will be fully supporting the Aldi application.

  11. Jim Allen

    October 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    In response to Sarah Taylor’s comment:

    Those who live in Burpham should receive the magazine ‘Burpham Pages’. The BCA [Burpham Community Association] regularly has an article included in it. There is also the Burpham Community Web site esily found via Google.

    Perhaps Ms Taylor already knows of the history of the Samian Bowl, circa 200AD found in Burpham, the potential Saxon meeting point on the Aldi Site and the history of the mill in the Domesday Book?

    But besides the history of the site and area, as I said in my earlier comment, within the application it says we can expect 554,000 visits to the store each year and the dangers of reversing 18.5m long delivery lorries in public places. While the BCA is criticised for its view of the application, based on a comprehensive survey, the association cannot, and should not, control who replies and gives their opinion. The age of the respondees nor views of the Aldi ‘trade mark’ have nothing to do with the suitablity of any site for a given purpose.

    I would ask Ms Taylor to please join the Burpham Neighbourhood Forum and help us improve our community.

  12. Sarah Taylor

    October 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    In response to Jim Allen’s comment:

    I will help the community in the traditional way, such as commenting on planning applications and attending committee meetings, correct me if I am wrong but is the system not there for such a purpose?

    I hasten to add that once again no alternative has been provided. Surely it is in the best interest of Burpham residents to have something other than a derelict site?

  13. David Smith

    October 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    The BCA is only easily found via Google if you have heard of it, besides, the issue really is the site and its use going forward. Not one person has suggested an alternative and the mention of Domesday and 200AD is quite funny. This is a former Harvester site surrounded by a large Barratt homes scheme and a large care home with little architectural merit not Stonehenge.

  14. Dennis Paul

    October 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    If Aldi is to get 554,000 shopping trips a year that sounds pretty popular. Good for job creation too. Sainsbury’s nearby won’t like the competition but it will give customers some choice.

    A park & ride scheme could ease town congestion perhaps? Or maybe some affordable housing blocks to house those on the Council Housing Register?

    It seems ridiculous to talk of nostalgia selectively. The gallows are no longer used in towns any more but should we bring back hanging? In those days the weary traveller coming into Guildford would be just as likely to be robbed by a highwayman than quench their thirst.

  15. Trevor Wicks

    October 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I would like to know how many people for or against have actually shopped in an Aldi in the UK. Do we know if the 35 staff will come from Guildford.

    The use of the land can be decided once we can determine if the covenant claimed to be in the deeds of transfer forbids the building of a facility for the benefit of the people of Burpham like a restaurant. It is difficult to make a proposal until we know the truth.

  16. Jim Allen

    October 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    So history is should be confined to the trash can should it! I guess those complaining don’t visit London, Winchester, or Portsmouth? If they do they’re visiting historic sites of our country. Why shouldn’t Burpham protect it’s own history? If you don’t think it is an historic site look at the maps. Let us get it ‘dug’ properly this is not being talked of ‘selectively’. It is the only brown field site which is documented to have been ‘occupied since mid 1500’s’ and probably very much earlier. Do they really want to destroy such history without checking it out?

    In response to the comment from Dennis Paul, I presume he does not drive anywhere. I sit looking down the A3 every day and would lay a bet that within any seven day period the road will be blocked at least twice. The last time it was blocked for three hours and the moment it is blocked the London Road is also grid-locked! What would it be like with an additional 500 vehicle movements per hour every day, between 08:00 and 22:00 for 363 days per year on the Burpham Lane/London Road junction. I suppose the additional pollution will at least help smoke the sausages!

    As for other options please visit the BCA web site and have your say on the Burpham survey as soon as it is ‘open for offical use’.

    • Dennis Paul

      October 30, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      I drive via the A3 every weekday to work and have not experienced much of a problem with congestion. The Burpham exit from the A3 is a very convenient fly-over towards Jacobs Well and Worplesdon, and the very occassional hold up is caused by roadworks and temporary traffic light systems than throughput of traffic.

      I have a good appreciation of historic sites visiting many locations in London. Much is best preserved in museums, but I struggle to think of a Burpham collection worthy of an exhibition except perhaps the cabal of self appointed representatives who purport to talk for a community that is looking to the future that will provide jobs, affordable accomodation and good local services.

      I don’t have a blueprint for this site, but positive suggestions for the site should be explored.

  17. Roger Marjoribanks

    October 31, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Those people who say that no alternative has been suggested should read my comment of 24th October instead of rushing headlong into print. Moreover, I can’t help wondering at what time Dennis Paul drives along London Road to reach the A3; I can assure him that at certain times of week-day it is always congested. And what on earth does he mean by saying that the Burpham exit is a very convenient flyover towards Jacobswell and Worplesdon? It would have been a darned sight more convenient (as well as actually being a flyover, perhaps) if the builders of “the bypass that bypasses the bypass” had had the nous to build a proper junction into and out of Clay Lane.

  18. Jim Allen

    November 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Readers might recall my previous comment in which I stated that within seven day there would be two traffic jams on the A3.

    Well I was wrong. The first which lasted three hours occurred on the same day I wrote the comment and the second was yesterday evening. How do I know? Because I’m the only resident of Burpham who can see, from my house, each and every time the A3 goes into grid-lock, day or night, morning or evening. We call it the south bound or north bound ‘silence’.

    I will leave it to readers to guess where I live.

    I disagree with the comments made about of the Burpham Community Association, or any group or individual who stands up within any community and tries to improve it, by for instance, picking litter or contacting the council to ensure our paths are kept clear and drains functioning. They should not be denigrated for their action. Rather than criticism they actually deserve praise for helping to maintain Burpham and protect it for future generations.

    Incidentally, the Green man site, first documented in the 1590s, has now been ‘designated’, so before any work begins a practical historical study of the site must be carried out.