Driffield NewsNEWS

New Aldi store is ‘an accident waiting to happen’

Further concerns about Driffield’s proposed new Aldi development have been raised, with one concerned resident telling the Wolds Weekly that the access point for the new free public car park is an ‘accident waiting to happen’.

In last week’s edition, residents living on Eastgate South, Harper Street and Galloway Lane expressed their fears for the safety of schoolchildren when HGVs use the aforementioned roads to access the new supermarket when it is built on the site of Driffield’s former Cattle Market.

The potential loss of on-street car parking and the impact of increased heavy traffic were also among the issues raised by the residents when they met with Driffield & Rural ward councillor Mark Blakeston recently.

Now, Angela Train, who lives on Exchange Street and is a trustee of charity Love Driffield – which operates the Driffield and Wolds Foodbank, just further up the same stretch of road – has shared her concerns regarding the new car park.

East Riding councillors gave their unanimous backing for an application from Gatsby Group Ltd at a meeting on 27th April.

The application involves the demolition of 12 Exchange Street, formerly homeware shop The Wooden House, to allow the construction of new vehicular and pedestrian access to the new parking facility, which will have 105 spaces on top of the 121 that will be provided by Aldi.

But with Exchange Street a thoroughfare used by schoolchildren twice a day from Monday to Friday, either on foot or in their parents’ vehicles, Angela believes that the new access is a major hazard.
And Angela also expressed her concern at the upheaval the additional traffic will cause for residents and those accessing and volunteering at the foodbank.

“I have major concerns about the entrance to the new car park off Exchange Street in terms of the impact it will have on where I live and how it will affect the foodbank,” she said.

“As someone who lives on Exchange Street, I have seen just how many children walk along there to go to school, including my grandchildren, who attend Driffield Junior School.

“They, and many other children, run all the way along Exchange Street. Currently, there are very few driveways or other areas cars can come out from, and we’ve watched children do this for years.

“However, as soon as The Wooden House is demolished, those children are in danger.

“Children don’t think about cars, particularly from places they are not used to them appearing from.

“Currently, at certain times of the day, it can take us 10 minutes to move our car onto the road, whilst it also takes a significant amount of time to exit the archway from the foodbank.

“At school arrival and leaving times, the whole of Exchange Street, Eastgate South and New Road are all jammed.

“Traffic cannot move and children coming out of school are already in enough danger without any more vehicles on the road.

“During the evenings, cars park on both sides of Exchange Street despite the enforcement that’s in place – it doesn’t matter whether it’s yellow lines or dropped kerbs and that will continue.

“With more traffic on the way when Aldi is built, it’s an accident waiting to happen and it’s going to be horrendous for all concerned.”

The former Cattle Market site where Aldi is proposing to build a new supermarket has been disused since 2001 and was bought by Gatsby in 2018.

Later the same year, the site was cleared and in 2020, East Riding of Yorkshire Council agreed for the land that Eastgate car park stands on to be declared as surplus to the requirements on the council, paving the way for the planning applications to be submitted and subsequently passed.

However, Angela is of the opinion that little thought has been put into the most recent plans and preferred the application that was submitted in 2008 – despite the fact it would have seen her lose her home.

She said the negative aspects of the development easily outweigh any positive ones she can find.

“The planners haven’t put much thought into the impact the car park will have,” said Angela.

“When I have been travelling around different towns that have an Aldi, it seems as though the supermarkets are always in the back right-hand corner and the parking is at the front.

“Well in Driffield, I think it would work better the other way around.

“Also, the original suggestion when the planning application was initially submitted in the late 2000s, was for Aldi to be situated behind my house, with part of one side of Exchange Street being knocked down.

“A roundabout was to be constructed and the HGVs would go along Bridlington Road and New Road, swing around the roundabout, into the supermarket yard and back again.

“There would have been no need to enter Eastgate South or Albion Street. The access would have been through the row of houses on the left-side of Exchange Street.

“Although I would have lost my house, that would have been better for Driffield as a whole and the children who will be put in danger by the current plans.

“At the moment, these children are so used to walking or running all the way along Exchange Street, other than stopping at the Eastgate South junction, that it’s going to take them a long time to get used to the new layout.

“Sadly, I think it’s just a case of an accident happening before anything changes. I have nothing against the development, but at least make it right for the town.

“From a foodbank viewpoint, the new car park will be great for us. However, it’s still going to be horrendous leaving the archway in a car.

“That will have an impact on our deliveries, as the archway is the only entrance and exit for us.”

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