Letter: It’s time to put local people and communities first
This letter sent to the Star was written by Christine Gilligan Kubo, Hillsborough ward Green Party, S6
A decision is due soon on a new Lidl store proposed close to the Malin Bridge gyratory at the bottom of Stannington Road. People are already deterred from using the Park and Ride near the tram stop because of the traffic jams they would have to get through to reach it. This development will make it worse.
Greens support local resident Matthew Barker’s campaign to oppose this planning application on the grounds of gridlocked traffic, air pollution and the impact on Hillsborough shopping precinct. The Precinct has suffered from numerous “drive to” supermarket approvals in surrounding areas and the loss of the Co-Op as a key footfall generator for other shops. Getting there by tram and bus is increasingly frustrating due to worsening jams on Holme Lane. This Lidl could lead to more shop closures in a vital but vulnerable district shopping centre.We will end up living in communities without local shops, forcing us to use cars for shopping and creating even more traffic jams and harmful pollution. The climate emergency dictates a completely opposite approach. There is an urgent need for better public transport and safer cycling and walking options so people can choose to leave their cars at home, reducing congestion for all road users while improving dangerous air pollution and road safety. Parents are now supporting the youth climate strikers who will have to live with the impact of today’s planning decisions. Hundreds of them are already concerned about their children walking from Hillsborough to Forge Valley and other schools in hazardous, polluted conditions. It’s time to put local people and communities first and object to this planning application reference 18/02802/FUL.