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Councillors back Aldi plans but raise safety issues

Councillors have raised concerns about pedestrian safety, access and delivery times and the loss of coach parking as they considered their response to the planning applications for the new Aldi supermarket and free car park at the former Cattle Market site in Driffield.

While members of Driffield Town Council said they were in favour of having the site developed, they felt there were a number of questions they needed answering to ensure the development would be in the best interests of the town.

As reported in the Wolds Weekly, Aldi has submitted a planning application to build a new store and customer car park on Eastgate South and part of the former Cattle Market site.

Running alongside the supermarket plans is a submission from Gatsby Group for a new council-owned community car park, replacing the current facility on Eastgate South.

Gatsby has submitted plans to demolish the former Wooden House on Exchange Street to create access for the new car park.

The Aldi car park will provide 121 spaces with a maximum stay of 90 minutes and the community car park an additional 105.

This would mean an extra 98 spaces for residents and visitors on top of what is currently offered.

Discussing the proposals at their full town council meeting, Cllr Matt Rogers said this was a big decision for Driffield and that leaving the site undeveloped was not an option.

He said: “We could either leave the site a derelict mess in Driffield or we can support a development.

“I agree that access is an issue, but if a supermarket does not go there, houses will be developed and the number of journeys will be far more than that of HGVs coming.

“I do believe that deliveries should be outside of school opening and closing times.

“I am also disappointed that the replacement free car park doesn’t have any coach parking because the current coach parking is well used.

“This is a big moment for Driffield as the site has been unused since 2001 when we lost the Cattle Market and leaving it derelict is not an option. I think we should support it but we need some more answers to the issues we have raised.”

Cllr Paul Rounding said he was in favour of the development.

“This area needs developing and I am in favour,” he said. “When the site was a Cattle Market, it coped with the number of lorries going to it and I think if we can put a restriction on the delivery times for the HGVs coming to the supermarket, we can overcome some of the issues.”

Having spoken to six residents who live on Eastgate South, Cllr Mark Blakeston said he shares their concerns with his biggest worry being access to the site, the safety of schoolchildren who cross Eastgate South going to and from school and the delivery times of lorries.

He told the meeting: “To ensure access of HGVs to the site, I would imagine there will have to be some kind of restrictions placed on parking on Eastgate South, potentially double yellow lines.

“But I would like to understand what exactly is planned and what knock-on effect that will have.

“The safety of children crossing Eastgate South worries me. Aldi said it is using pedestrian surveys that were carried out 10 years ago but, in my opinion, they were flawed because of the times they were carried out in mid-morning and early afternoon and not at times when the children were going to and from school.

“We need detailed traffic and pedestrian surveys.”

He added that he is also concerned that there will be a loss of long-term free parking for residents with the changes to the car parks.

Cllr Andrew Coleman also called for a proper traffic plan for the town to understand the issues the development would have on traffic flow and to address congestion issues in the town.

Councillors also discussed the need for consideration to local residents during the construction phase, and once complete, ensuring the number of deliveries is minimised to four as previously stated by Aldi in order to minimise any potential damage to properties, particularly those on Marine Row, which have no footings.

When discussing the plans for the development of the new car park, the need for coach parking was highlighted by councillors as well as a request for pedestrian access onto Providence Place, as it is the quickest and most direct access to the town centre.

Councillors also asked for a covenant to ensure the Aldi car park remains free for 90 minutes and that the council car park will remain free of charges to users in perpetuity.

Driffield Town Council approved both applications in principle with the request that the concerns raised by councillors are addressed.

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