850 sign petition opposing Belvedere ASDA
PUBLISHED: 09:32 08 September 2011
»More than 850 residents have opposed plans for a new 36,000 square feet supermarket in Belvedere - fearing it will cause independent businesses to close and lead to traffic chaos.
Owner of Belvedere Food and Wine in Gilbert Road, Belvedere, Amit Patel, already has hundreds of signatures on the petition which he plans to submit to Bexley council’s planning committee.
ASDA bosses are planning to redesign the current B&Q store in Lower Road, Belvedere, to create two separate retail units – a new mezzanine floor for B&Q and the other for an ASDA supermarket, which will sell food and clothes.
Mr Patel said: “A big reason for opposing the application is the increase in traffic which could lead to noise and pollution. Asda bosses say they will create a traffic management plan but it will be chaotic. They will be increasing traffic ten or 20 times what it is now.
“They also say they will create up to 300 jobs but they can’t provide the breakdown of part and full-time posts. There is a big difference.
“Also what about the jobs that will go from independent shops here? People will lose their livelihoods. A lot of supermarkets in the area are busier than they expected so they have taken on extra staff, they could be laid off if the Asda store opens.”
Resident Robert Collins, 66, said: “There are enough supermarkets around here. It will cripple independent shops and Belvedere will end up like a ghost town.”
A spokesman for Asda confirmed the plans would create 300 jobs but could not say how many full and part time posts this would be.
Asda’s senior property communications manager Chris Martin said: “We have received a positive endorsement from local people both through our own consultation as well as the independent poll we commissioned on the views of local residents.
“The poll, carried out via telephone by the polling company Populus, interviewed a random sample of 1,000 people making it a statistically representative sample of local opinion.”
At the time of going to press, the application was not available for public view as it had not been validated by Bexley council. A date for the planning hearing has not been confirmed.