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Residents speak out about their fears for safety if Aldi store is built

Concerned residents living on the access route to the new Aldi supermarket in Driffield fear safety will be put at risk due to an increase in the volume of traffic, in particular HGVs, accessing the site.

The residents who live on Eastgate South, Harper Street and Galloway Lane – which is the proposed route for traffic accessing the new supermarket being built on the former Cattle Market site – said one of their major concerns is the safety of schoolchildren who cross at Dunn’s Lane to get to and from school.

Last year, a child was knocked off their bike crossing at this point, and they fear an increase in the volume of traffic on what are already busy, narrow streets would have far worse consequences.

Other concerns raised by the residents when they met with East Riding of Yorkshire councillor for the Driffield & Rural ward Mark Blakeston included the loss of on-street parking if parking restrictions are imposed to help the flow of traffic and the impact an increase in heavy traffic will have on the houses, many of which do not have solid foundations.

Nik Rose, who lives on the access route, said: “My biggest worry is the volume of traffic that will be using these streets, especially around peak periods when the kids are going to and leaving school.

“Last year I helped a child who had been knocked off their bike and more traffic, especially lorries making deliveries, is going to make matters worse.

“I am also worried about the lack of parking for residents. The is no off-street parking and although I have an email saying that there are no immediate plans for changes to Eastgate South, it is still a concern.

“These streets are busy enough as it is, and this will be a popular store. Traffic already mounts the pavements along Eastgate South because it is a narrow street and on days like today (Thursday), there are a lot of cars parked along this route which don’t belong to residents.”

Councillors from East Riding of Yorkshire Council gave their unanimous backing to the new Aldi supermarket and car park at their planning meeting on 27th April.

At the same meeting, they also approved a separate application by Gatsby Group Ltd for the construction of a new free public car park to replace the Eastgate car park.

This application involves the demolition of 12 Exchange Street (the former Wooden House) to allow the construction of new vehicular and pedestrian access to the new car park.

While the majority of local residents do not object to Aldi coming to Driffield or to the site being developed, it is the location of the new supermarket that is causing the greatest concern.

Lisa Forrest, who lives on Eastgate South, opposite the junction with Galloway Lane, said: “My biggest worry is safety and the fact that these roads are just not suitable for such an increase in traffic.

“These roads are already extremely busy and there are numerous times that we see accidents nearly happen here.

“I can’t see lorries being able to safely come up and down these roads because they are very narrow, and I feel that pedestrians will be put at huge risk.

“Also, many of the houses on these roads are very old and don’t have footings and some are very close to the road.

“I’m not objecting to Aldi coming to Driffield, I just don’t think this is the ideal place for a supermarket.”

One of her neighbours Brian O’Connell added: “This road is busy enough without a supermarket and cars fly down here.

“It would frighten me if any of my grandchildren had to cross over to Dunn’s Lane on a dark winter’s afternoon with even more traffic on these streets.

“I would like to see an enquiry and for the residents to be given a voice.”

Many of the residents felt that a site visit should have been made because none of the councillors on the committee live in Driffield.

They also questioned the data for traffic flow and pedestrian surveys. They said the traffic flow was done during lockdown and the pedestrian surveys dated back around 10 years to a previous application to develop the site by Tesco and were carried out at 10am and 2pm and not when the majority of schoolchildren are using the route.

Cllr Blakeston said he would work with his fellow ward councillors to try to address some of the concerns raised by the residents.

He said: “I am keen to work with other ward councillors to bring about whatever change we can to ease the concerns of residents on Eastgate South and Harper Street.

“Quite clearly parking is an issue, as is pedestrian safety, and whether residents are in agreement about Aldi or not, there is a consensus that the site needs developing.

“Their concerns lie in the apparent lack of consideration for parking and public safety and not being directly consulted.

“The consultation was carried out through the planning portal and it is not everybody who can access that. It would be nice to have a public meeting with Aldi.”

A statement from East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “Planning applications were presented to the planning committee on 27th April 2023, where members resolved to approve the applications, subject to conditions.

“The applications were accompanied by a suite of supporting documents, including a Transport Note, Transport Assessment, parking surveys, swept path analysis and traffic growth rates provided.

“These documents were independently assessed by the council’s transport consultant and as a result the highways officer advised the proposals were acceptable in highway terms, subject to conditions.

“The highway and pedestrian safety concerns set out below, were raised by Driffield Town Council and local residents during the course of the application and were taken into consideration by officers.

“The committee report sets out the council’s assessment of the proposals and reasons for recommending approval. The committee reports for both applications can be viewed online, via the council’s website and through Public Access.

“In response to the queries raised, there will be no loss of on-street parking along Eastgate South, Harper Street, Bridge Lane or Albion Street.

“There will be some minor changes to existing double yellow lines on the western side of Eastgate South and on Galloway Lane, but this will not lead to a reduction of on-street parking.

“The changes proposed are considered to be an improvement and are as follows: the access to the site from Eastgate South will be realigned further north and a parking lay by for five cars created on the western side of Eastgate South.

“A new footway will also be introduced connecting the existing footway to the Spread Eagle pub and the existing car park access on Galloway Lane will be removed and a footway reinstated.

“ A number of highway conditions were imposed including one requiring a Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) to be submitted prior to works commencing on site. This should include:

(i) Routing agreement for deliveries and construction traffic
(ii) Timings of deliveries and construction traffic movements
(iii) Signage and traffic management details
(iii) Measures to rectify any damage caused to the public highway as a result of construction vehicles associated with this development.

“Other conditions required further details to be submitted with regards to the provision of the temporary vehicle parking, loading, off-loading, manoeuvring facilities and wheel wash facilities for the contractors carrying out building and construction works on the development.”

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