Lidl loses its appeal over plans for staff car park behind Rushden store

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Residents have won their fight against plans for an area of staff parking for a supermarket near their homes.

Objections were raised after Lidl applied for planning permission for staff parking with six spaces behind the store which opened in Newton Road, Rushden, last year.

Access to the proposed car park would have been via Wheatcroft Gardens, a residential cul-de-sac behind the store, but eight households objected to the plans with concerns including parking issues in Wheatcroft Gardens, congestion, pollution, noise and disturbance for residents.

Members of East Northants Council’s planning management committee discussed the plans last year and decided to refuse them.

Lidl chose to appeal their decision so it went to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration, and the appeal has since been dismissed.

Inspector William Fieldhouse, who visited the site on July 19, said the main issues to consider were whether the proposal would be likely to generate anti-social behaviour, crime and fear of crime in the locality, as well as the effect the use of the proposed car park would have on the living conditions of residents living in Wheatcroft Gardens.

In his report, Mr Fieldhouse said there was a danger that the proposed car park could become a focal point for anti-social behaviour and crime, and the coming and going of additional cars used by staff at the start and end of their shifts would be likely to be ‘noticeable.’

His report concluded: “The limited benefits that the proposal would bring would not outweigh the harm that would be caused.

“I therefore conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.”

Cllr Barbara Jenney, who represents the Hayden ward on both Rushden Town Council and East Northants Council, said she was delighted that the inspector had upheld the council’s decision to refuse the car park plans.