Have your say on Lidl’s plans to join Charlton’s retail park traffic jams

The proposed store would use two units in the shopping park

Lidl has submitted a planning application for its proposed new store in the Charlton retail parks – giving residents the opportunity to have their say on the plans.

The store plans to move into the former H&M unit in “Greenwich” Shopping Park, as well as taking over the adjacent River Island store, which is due to close in September.

Lidl’s plans to move in across the road from its rival Aldi will further add to concerns about traffic in the area – with the Greenwich Shopping Park already regularly jammed up at weekends, and the potential for heavy traffic spreading further with the opening of east Greenwich’s Ikea store last week. There are no plans to change traffic access into the park, which frequently becomes a bottleneck.

Residents have until Wednesday 6 March to comment on the proposals – search for reference 19/0298/F on the Greenwich Council planning website.

The traffic assessment submitted by the retail park’s owner skirts around the potential for gridlock, with a traffic survey looking at only a Friday and Saturday in early November, without including the heavily-congested Sundays. It claims there were 90 free spaces in the 391-space car park at the busiest hour on the Saturday.

Greenwich Shopping Park
There are no plans to deal with the bottleneck entrance/exit to the site

Basing its assessment on a 2011 survey carried out in a retail park in Cardiff with an M&S food store, it claims 10% of the Lidl store’s trade will be new traffic to the area, but another 30% will be tempted in from Bugsby’s Way or other local roads. It also cites a 1998 planning appeal by Tesco for a store in Exeter to support its point.

Ikea is not mentioned in the transport assessment.

Whether the council’s Charlton Riverside Masterplan, which covers the area, will give planners any teeth in dealing with the store’s application is not clear. While most of the retail in the area is relatively recent – the Greenwich Shopping Park was given permission in 2000, others were approved in 2013 and 2014 – the council now says “the existing retail does not conform with [council] policy”. This application could be a test of how the masterplan, adopted in 2017, relates to the current retail parks.

As reported earlier this week, Lidl has also applied for an alcohol licence for the store.

Update 5.40pm: Story updated earlier to correct the planning reference. If you are commenting on Lidl, you might also want to submit a comment on Ikea’s plans to allow five hours’ free parking at its “sustainable” store – see planning reference 19/0109/I106 and more details at From The Murky Depths.


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Lidl gets set to join Charlton retail parks traffic party

Greenwich Shopping Park
Traffic is already regularly jammed in the “Greenwich” Shopping Park

Discount supermarket Lidl is set to return to Charlton, having applied for a licence to serve alcohol in the former H&M unit on Bugsby’s Way.

The appearance of yet another hugely popular store will put even more pressure on the traffic network in the area, following the opening of Ikea last Thursday, as well as Primark and Matalan in 2017.

It is not clear whether or not Lidl will need to apply for planning permission to open the store – but the it does need a licence to serve alcohol.

Lidl did have a store on Bugsby’s Way until the 2000s and has long been linked with a return. Its German rival, Aldi, opened its doors on the other side of Bugsby’s Way in 2017.

There are 32 retail units in the Bugsby’s Way cluster – between the railway line and Gallions Road of which 30 are currently occupied.

Thanks to Alison Rogers for the tip-off.


PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– Become a monthly supporter at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion
– Buy Darryl a coffee at ko-fi.com