October 24 2014 Latest news:
by Harry Kemble, Reporter
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Supermarket chain Lidl has submitted a bid to build a new store in Harold Hill to replace the old police station in Gooshays Drive.
The news has caught many residents by surprise, leading to some questioning if a store in 131-133 Gooshays Drive will increase traffic congestion.
Cllr Keith Darvill, leader of the Labour group in Havering, encouraged residents to voice their opinions at a consultation meeting on Tuesday.
He said: “I think this [application] is going to run and run. My view is that residents should really respond to the consultation so we can get a feel for it.”
Cllr Darvill added Harold Hill Leisure Centre, Harold Hill Community Centre, Harold Hill Health Centre and the myplace centre - opened in June 2012 – cause traffic and parking issues along Gooshays Drive.
He also added: “The majority of the residents who have contacted me are opposed, but some are in favour of it. I would say it is about five to one against.
“At the moment there are not enough car parking spots for the leisure centre, the community centre and the health centre – if you provide a supermarket with only 40 car parking spaces.”
Peter Dorsam, 48, of Wrexham Road, Harold Hill, was sceptical about the need for another supermarket in Harold Hill.
He said: “I would rather have a police station in my community than a supermarket.
“Harold Hill is a rough and tough area but the one thing it has going for it has masses of green space.”
Resident Peter Wesson, of Petersfield Avenue, spoke out in support of the proposal though, highlighting the need to develop the “redundant” police station.
He said: “I would not be surprised if they got planning permission – I would not mind it.”
The spokesman said: “We envisage submitting the planning application towards the end of March and we will be including a transport assessment as part of this.”
Lidl will be hosting a public consultation day on Tuesday at the Harold Hill Community Centre from 5.30pm to 8pm.