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Flats above supermarket plan supported by town council

Some councillors express concerns though over parking and refuse collection

Aldi supermarket and car park

Plans to create more than a dozen flats above a supermarket in Blackwater town centre have been welcomed by town councillors.

Applicant Emack Services wants to convert the first, second and third floors above Aldi into 15 flats.

The three floors of Manor House, in London Road are currently used as office space and the applicant is applying for a change of use.

Hart District Council is expected to make a decision on whether to grant permission by May 21.

Blackwater and Hawley Town Council supports and welcomes the development in view of the shortage of accommodation in the area.

Councillor Jeffrey Smith, said: “In view of our chronic shortage of accommodation, I would support the proposal. I welcome the development, but on the condition that Highways look in to it.”

However, some councillors are concerned about car parking and access, refuse bins and collection, cycle storage and provision.

Councillor Dawn Hayward, said: “I wouldn’t personally want to live there. I think it will be a nightmare. Parking is a nightmare all around there and no one seems to be doing anything about it.”

Councillor Brian Blewett agreed. He said: “I think it will be a nightmare too. It is bad enough trying to get into Aldi now. I went up there the other day and there were queues through the area.”

The applicant has submitted a proposal to create one and two-bedroom flats with 15 parking spaces. The site is located next to the town’s main parade of shops and train station.

Despite Hart’s car parking standards that state 1.1 car parking spaces is required per one bed unit, the applicant said 30 spaces would be appropriate for houses, but not flats.

According to the applicant: “The development proposals will reduce vehicle traffic to and from the site, which in turn benefits both highway capacity and highway safety.

“It will increase the propensity of occupants to use modes other than the private car and provide appropriate levels of parking for both cars and cycles.”

 

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