A planning application has been made to convert the Saab garage into a Tesco supermarket.
Read the application details on the South Cambridgeshire District Council website. Below is the text of the letter that was sent by local residents in response to the application. You can read previous visitors' comments.
Planning Application S/2133/14/FL
We note that there has been another application for the site of the former Saab garage in Harston to be converted into a supermarket. Before deciding whether to grant planning permission there are two significant areas that we would like you to consider.
The effect on the Post Office
We understand that increased competition is not grounds for objecting to a planning application and acknowledge that some local residents will welcome the jobs and services that could be provided by a supermarket. However, the arrival of another food store into Harston is likely to cause the existing village shop to close. This will mean that there is no Post Office in the village which would be a serious detriment to residents and local small business owners (also increasing the necessity of road travel – either by car or an increasingly diminishing bus service). If the effect of granting planning permission for a supermarket is that the store closes then competition will not have been increased.
We therefore believe that no planning permissions should be granted that could cause the loss of a Post Office in the village.
The effect on levels of traffic
The A10 carries approximately 12,000 vehicle trips per day. The planning application states: “The data also demonstrates that the site could attract 548 daily vehicle movements...this volume / frequency of movements is not expected to result in any material queuing / delay on the highway."
As residents who experience the volume of traffic daily we can not believe that there will not be a material effect on traffic. There are already significant delays for car users wanting to travel towards Cambridge or Royston either accessing the A10 from side roads (e.g. Station Road, Church Street, The Limes) or from properties directly on the High Street. Workers at Harston Mill also experience long delays when trying to exit the site. Problems caused by the volume of traffic can only be exacerbated by additional traffic to and from a supermarket.
The current levels of traffic are already less than ideal for pedestrians and cyclists, particularly those crossing from Church Street to the south side of Royston Road / High Street – for example parents taking their children to the primary school.
A supermarket will add to the already known future increases to traffic that will be caused by planned developments in the neighbouring villages of Foxton and Hauxton.
The plans for a bridge over the railway at Foxton by March 2019 will mean that there is a constant stream of traffic through Harston. Currently the level crossing has a positive effect of providing gaps in the traffic which allow access to the A10 for residents and workers in Harston. Without these gaps access to the A10 will be significantly worse. Bypassing the level crossing is also likely to increase road use as those car and lorry drivers who currently take alternative routes to avoid delays at Foxton will return to the A10.
The planned new 1,000 space Park and Ride site at Hauxton can only add to the expected levels of traffic through Harston.
We do not believe that a decision to position a supermarket with direct access on the A10 for customers and deliveries can do anything other than exacerbate current and expected future traffic problems for Harston residents and workers and we do not believe any decision on this planning application should be made outside of the wider context of the anticipated increased traffic levels.
We therefore believe that the application should NOT be approved until a traffic management system is in place that enables Harston residents and workers improved access to the A10 and which allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road safely at additional points.
Options to explore in more depth must include a bypass (wanted by many, but not all, residents) and traffic control by synchronised traffic lights.
We urge you not to grant this planning permission until these two areas have been addressed satisfactorily.
Frances Pearce Gould
Also supported by (post-deadline):