Car parking fears remain over new Tesco store in Ashtead
Fears that a new Tesco in Ashtead will cause a parking crisis remain despite the supermarket claiming a new report shows it will not be an issue.
Campaigning group Save Ashtead’s Village Environment (SAVE) does not oppose having a Tesco Metro store in The Street, but believes that a lack of any on-site parking will negatively affect existing car parking spaces in the town - particularly the Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall car park.
Tesco has repeatedly said there will be sufficient parking in Ashtead for all Tesco users even on the store’s busiest days, they believe a new report by Surrey County Council (SCC) supports this.
Although Mole Valley Council is responsible for car parks, SCC is responsible for highways and has found the parking needs generated by a new Tesco would not cause a safety concern, with regards to on-street parking.
This, they assert, is due to the controls in place to prevent additional parking on the surrounding streets.
But Quentin Armitage, spokesman for SAVE, said Tesco is over-stating the report’s findings as it does not consider off-street parking in car parks - the type of parking which SAVE believes will be inadequate for customers of a new store and which will be negatively affected.
The report stated: "The highway authority is satisfied that even the peak parking demand shown in [Tesco’s] transport assessment would not cause a highway safety concern, as the main roads and junctions around the application site have existing on-street parking controls."
Simon Petar, corporate affairs manager at Tesco, said it was delighted with the report’s findings.
He said: "SCC has independently said there is enough parking provision for our proposed Metro store."
Mr Armitage said: "SCC is responsible for parking on the roads and the reason it has said that this is ok, in terms of the Tesco development, is because a lot of the parking on the roads is controlled.
"What Mole Valley Council has got to look at is the provision of off-street parking, such as car parks, and whether these are sufficient for the Tesco store."