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Chamber Says NO to Policy LA17 Agenda• Opening comments and introductions: Mark Moorhouse, Chairman, Sandwich and District Chamber of Commerce• Presentation – An overview of the proposal and the issues – Steve Laslett, Chamber committee member• Questions from the floor and answers• Conclusion – summary of next steps
Chamber Says NO to LA17 What is this all about?• Dover District Council has to have a Land Allocations Policy• They need to make space available for housing and for shops• Their proposals are now out for consultation• Once adopted they are legally binding until 2026
Chamber Says NO to LA17 What is LA17?• Land Allocation Policy 17 is ‘New Convenience Retail at Guildhall Car Park’• It proposes to earmark the space for a ‘superstore format’ unit for food and other everyday items• The unit would be just a bit smaller than the exisiting Coop• Changes would be made to Cattle Market ‘to allow large vehicles to turn safely’
Chamber Says NO to LA17 Could this happen in a Conservation Area?• Yes if DDC consider their conditions are met: ie if proposals:i. Respond to the local character, identity and the historic nature of Sandwich;ii. Encourage pedestrian linkages to the town centre and to the historic Town Wall;iii. Include a demonstration of how car parking arrangements would adequately support both the store and town centre;iv. Do not result in substantial harm to archaeological remains of the highest significance;iv. Demonstrate the access arrangements and the service yard are located in a position that protects the residential amenity of neighbouring properties and the heritage assets.
Chamber Says NO to LA17 What is the process?• DDC has made its recommendations• We can all make ‘representations’ to an independent planning inspector• The inspector will approve or refer back the individual policies• We must submit by Feb 21st on-line or in writing
Chamber Says NO to LA17 What about housing proposals?• Policy LA14 has 100 houses beyond St Bart’s Road• Policy LA15 has 50 houses earmarked by Sandown Rd/St Georges Rd• Policy LA16 has identified space for 80 houses between Deal Rd and Old Dover Rd• The Chamber of Commerce will not be making a representation on these.
Chamber Says NO to LA17 Why is DDC proposing another Supermarket?• DDC has calculated that Deal and Sandwich TOGETHER need 2400 sqm more convenience retail over the next 25 years• Whilst most of this is to meet DEAL’s need, the recommended site is in Sandwich• This is in spite of their own survey concluding that Deal people would not come to Sandwich in any event! Strange but True!!
Chamber Says NO to LA17 Who knew about all this?• DDC has an obligation to consult on all planning proposals (SCI and NPPF))• The Chamber has NOT been consulted• Sandwich Businesses have NOT been consulted• The Coop say they knew nothing – and have just invested £3million in the store upgrade• The Chamber will object strongly about lack of consultation and such short notice
Chamber Says NO to LA17 How do DDC justify all this?• Their studies show that 35% of Sandwich spend goes to Westwood Cross and Canterbury (Telephone survey, Retail Study 2012)• They would like more to stay ‘in district’• They assume- but do not evidence – that a second store would keep more spend ‘in district’• The Chamber does not believe another small store would have that effect
Chamber Says NO to LA17 What is the Financial Risk?• DDCs own study says a new development like this in the next 5 years would probably fail• The study admits the statistical case is weak and based on ‘layers of uncertainty’• The Chamber thinks it will kill our independent shops• It is based on a false notion in the Core Plan that ‘Sandwich is losing its vibrancy’ - we don’t agree!
Chamber Says NO to LA17 Who owns the land?• The Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund owns 135 car park spaces• DDC owns 63 spaces• The Doctors surgery owns their land• DDC may find the policy is not deliverable if landowners say they will not sell• Sandwich Town Council and Toll Bridge Fund have voted against the proposal• Hopefully the Inspector will agree that the policy cannot be delivered
Chamber Says NO to LA17 Do we need all that car parking space?• DDC says the spaces are used to 70% capacity ‘on average’ based on a survey 5 years ago• The Chamber says they are used 100% capacity in the summer• Tourism is growing in Sandwich• We will lose 17 spaces by the Quay• One day, probably, we will lose some on street parking if a form of pedestrianisation is introduced• Losing car parking is very short sighted and probably impossible to recover
Chamber Says NO to LA17 What about the lorries?• Delivery vehicles for the Coop have to go via St Bart’s, past the school, down Woodnesborough Rd and into Moat Sole (where they shake the houses!)• Another supermarket would double the load• Large lorries coming into Cattle Market and past Whitefriars would have to mix it with pedestrians• The Chamber thinks that would be a disaster for Sandwich
Chamber Says NO to LA17 What other options are there?• The process asks for alternative plans for the space• The Chamber thinks we should keep all of the car parking spaces but use the rest of the area better• Early thoughts are to extend the doctors surgery into a health care facility and add a phamacy shop• If we could also move some ‘service’ retail out of Market Street we could start to plan Sandwich as a whole, not in bits• The WI building and recycling bins provide enough space to do this
Chamber Says NO to LA17 Can we all make an objection?• YES• A representation needs to say clearly why the Policy is unsound.• Good reasons need to be put forward• We will hand out a note explaining to you how to do it on-line or in writing• We hope that representation will be made by: The Chamber; Sandwich Council; Town Team; SCEA; the Doctors; the Coop; other shops, lots of people.
Chamber Says NO to LA17 So What happens next?• The Chamber will submit a representation saying:• We already have more retail space in Sandwich than the national average (22% cf 17%)• The retail need for Deal people should be met in Deal, not in Sandwich• There has been no consultation• The plan is not sound – it will not work!• We must keep our car parks and not have more big lorries• We want to be given the chance to shape our Town – Chamber and Town Team working together
Chamber Says NO to LA17 Response Questions and Answers