Iceland Site – NOW is the time to act!
Chairman Vee and team collecting signatures and views outside Iceland Sycamore Rd. What do YOU think? pic.twitter.com/eMw9MTUlCi
— Chiltern Chamber (@ChilternChamber) December 17, 2015
Followers of our Twitter account (or shoppers in Amersham) may recall seeing our Chairman Vee before Christmas, collecting signatures and opinions outside the Iceland/Chilton Watson/Cargo site on Sycamore Road, Amersham-on-the-Hill.
The nub of the issue relates to proposed “A1/A3” designation of the ground floor development in the planning application. A1 represents retail shops; A3 relates to restaurants and cafes. Does Amersham NEED that block, which is adjacent to the CDC car park, as a food store, or can it be allowed to be given over to restaurants? What would be the overall impact on the long-term life and vibrancy of the town?
When canvassing, the Chamber expressed no opinion, since we wanted to understand and reflect the mood of residents first. Now with the benefit of extensive feedback, there is no doubt of the mood of Amersham residents and traders:
- There is great concern at the prospect of the site being redeveloped at the cost of a significant chunk of retail space.
- There is almost equal concern that removal of Iceland (or a similar low-cost store) will be a significant blow to less affluent residents.
- Amersham is almost unique among local towns in not having a sizeable town centre supermarket adjoining a main car park. The space being proposed for this development represents the only location in the town where this could be the case. If this development goes ahead, that option would be lost forever.
- Many traders fear that removal of a significant chunk of retail space, and a food store in particular, will reduce numbers of visitors to the High Street, with a consequent effect on other businesses.
What can you do? You can write – but you need to be quick!
Most planning enquiries attract little interest and perhaps you assume there’s little you can do.
Wrong! Many have written already, and if you do write and express your opinion, it will add to a significant body of opinion that the planning process will be bound to consider.
Below are the details for e-mailing your opinion. The deadline is fast approaching – 23:59pm Tuesday 12th January. Whether you have the same reservations as those listed above, or whether you have other concerns (or even if you support the planning application!), Chiltern Chamber would encourage as many residents as possible to participate and be heard.
Go to http://www.chiltern.gov.uk/viewplanningapplications
Click on ‘Click here to view planning applications online’ and enter the Planning Application Number CH/2015/2243/FA in the keyword search. Click the ‘Comments’ tab, and then you can make a comment – though you will need to register and log in.
E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail (nb time is short!) to Planning, Chiltern District Council, King George V Road, Amersham HP6 5AW
Please quote reference: CH/2015/2243/FA
If you agree with the views above, we would suggest that you comment as to the importance of a value-based food store to attract you to shop in Amersham, particularly with the benefit of the Council car park behind.
Please note: You need to finish with your NAME and FULL ADDRESS