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Endon store plan halted amid safety fears

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 03, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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RESIDENTS have won a fight to halt the opening of a convenience store amid fears of danger to road users and pedestrians.

The public gallery was full to capacity last Thursday when members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council planning applications committee debated an application submitted by Endon Service Station to change the use of its ground floor car repair and sales area to a shop for the Co-operative Food Group Limited.

Thirty-nine villages, plus a 22-signature petition, opposed the scheme, which was recommended for approval by planning officers.

Speaking against the application was ward councillor and leader of the council, Sybil Ralphs.

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Ms Ralphs said: "There are people here today who know the area well and there will be highway issues. The site has three separate businesses operating from it.

"Lorries will have difficulty turning and will be forced to reverse in. Some of the pavements are also below standard. Cars park on the road now, and this will become even more of a hazard.

"People in Endon have been consulted and have given a resounding no to the proposals.

"I ask this committee to refuse this application."

Nearby resident Adam Vujcic also spoke against the application.

He said: "People will park on the main road and the volume of congestion will increase.

"There are 26 car parking spaces, eight for staff and four for the disabled – the rest has to be used for the three businesses. This could result in single figures for the Co-op store.

"HGV's will have to reverse on to the car park. The chance of injury to pedestrians is increased.

"People will also congregate which could cause anti-social behaviour."

However, Stephen Hughes, regional planning manager for the Co-op, said that car parking was more than adequate.

He said: "No way are we going to cause trouble for neighbours. We have a policy in place for alcohol sales and have held discussions with the police, and CCTV will be in place.

"We support the school and the proposals will have a £500,000 benefit and bring in jobs."

Manager director of Endon Service Station, Reg Aldridge, said his parents started the business in 1997 and brought an eyesore back to life.

He said: "My dad retired in 2000 but economics have since changed. My son started a car parts business in 2013 and now parts go all over the world.

"With this partnership we can retain the jobs."

Councillor Mike Worthington said cars do park on the pavements and if conditions were placed on the application these would be difficult to police.

He said: "This is a highways minefield. Cars do park on pavements, as it has caused chaos in Cheddleton. I feel this is unsafe area for deliveries.

"People do not want it and we should not impose it on them."

Councillor Mike Bowen said: "There will be large wagons on the pavements and young mums will not be able to walk with pushchairs. I can't agree with this over safety reasons."

Councillor Ron Locker said: "This is a busy road and the gateway to the Staffordshire Moorlands. This will cause major problems as lorries will have to reverse in. These sort of shops are where people just stop and run in for something."

The committee voted by 10 votes to two in favour of refusal.

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