Independent Resident Group Activist Ross Elliott today writes in the Havering Daily.
At first, the idea of a new Lidl in Rainham sounds like a great idea. I sometimes shop at Lidl, and like many, can often be found down the middle isles, looking to buy something I didn’t know I needed.
A new supermarket would bring an extra choice for local residents, and I’m sure with a discount supermarket on its doorstep, Tesco will be offering the best value possible for its products.
However, what cost are we prepared to pay to have this new supermarket?
The proposed site for the new Lidl currently has a few small local businesses located there. All of which will have to relocate. Local businesses, such as the butchers, which are used weekly by so many, will have to move elsewhere. The proposal claims the store will create 40 new jobs paying the London Living Wage of £10.85 per hour. However, there are currently more then 40 people working on the same site, and from what I’ve been told, earn more than that.
There are also the issues of parking and traffic. The proposed site includes only 55 parking spaces, of which 4 will be disabled spaces and 5 parent and child spaces. I imagine some of the 40 staff will need to park there as well. At busy times, where will the overflow park?
The proposed opening hours are 7 am to 11 pm Monday to Saturday (including Bank Holidays), and 10 am to 6 pm Sunday, and we can expect 1-2 HGV deliveries to the store per day. Because the site is fairly small, delivery vehicles will have to drive into the site in forward gear and reverse into the loading bay which is located on the north elevation of the building. If this proposal is to go ahead, I would hope there are restrictions on when deliveries could take place to ensure there are minimal people, in particular children, around.
The location is a busy area generally. Rainham road has a lot of daily traffic and it’s only going to increase as Beam Park residents move in. There is a school next door, along with a church, and at times, the pavement can be filled with hundreds of people.
I agree we will need more choice now the area’s population is increasing, due to the creation of the Beam Park, however, I am unsure this particular location is the right location for such a store. With a foodstore already planned for Beam Park and a Tesco Express only minutes up the same road, along with the Tesco Extra, I am unsure we need to rush into this without giving it some proper though first and ensuring the safety of residents has been considered.
The land is privately owned, and I imagine Lidl would be offering a fair amount for such a location. I know business owners were disappointed to hear the land was being sold, and they have a year to relocate.
Once the plans have been submitted (March 2021), residents will be able to provide their thoughts on them. I would encourage those who share the same concerns as me to make their thoughts known.
I have created a poll to help gage peoples opinions. If you would like to take part, please click here – https://forms.gle/ZQtXnrPR8C2AetdW7