Storm Poorun urges rethink on Leegate proposals

19 April 2015

Statement from Storm Poorun, Green Party candidate for Lewisham East

“St Modwen’s plans for Leegate would worsen already illegal air pollution levels”

 

Lewisham Green Party have called on Lewisham Council to consider  A Better Lee Green’s survey of air pollution and reject St Modwen’s plans for the over-development of the Leegate Centre site. The survey, carried out in January and February, showed that air pollution levels are 75% over the legal limit at the A20 junction with Burnt Ash Road and only legal, in fact 13% below the limit, in one of the 10 sites tested – the sheltered pedestrian square to be built over by St Modwen [1].

Under St Modwen’s plans the numbers of vehicles travelling along Burnt Ash Road would increase by several thousand per day, thus exposing pedestrians and residents to even more nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants, which are the second biggest cause of premature death in London and harm the development of children’s lungs.

Air pollution is contributing to thousands of deaths a year in London. It is simply not justifiable to deprive Lee Green of a sheltered, pedestrianised public space for the convenience of yet another supermarket, with 30 more lorries a day and 320 new car parking spaces.

It is very clear that Leegate is in crying need of improvement, but a masterplan based upon community consultation could improve the health and vitality of the area and benefit local residents and businesses more.

Developers St Modwen Properties PLC claim that their Leegate scheme has evolved ‘significantly’ in response to feedback received from the first three sets of public exhibitions and stakeholder meetings[2].

This is not at all obvious. The scheme still centres on the proposed supermarket built over the current pedestrian square, and the number of spaces for small local businesses would be cut from 25 full units to 10 tiny units. This comes at a time when supermarkets are closing new stores without opening them and leaving behind buildings unfit for any other purpose[3], as the proposed Leegate development would be.

Editor’s Notes

[1] http://abetterleegreen.com/pollution-study/

[2] Little, Mandy. Superstore Asda be ‘rethought’, The Lewisham Mercury, Wednesday, February 25th, 2015.

[3] http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/03/betrayed-by-tesco-kirkby-bridgwater-wolverhampton-let-down-by-supermarket-regeneration

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/05/asda-boss-andy-clarke-tesco-heart-surgery

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/13/sainsburys-asda-supermarket-sales






 

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