New Llanrumney Sainsburys Local

Lessons for us and Cardiff Council planning officers and councillors?

The Sainsbury’s Local shop in Llanrumney has just opened. Does the fact that it got planning permission mean that the Pontcanna Pine/Dairy site will be granted permission by Cardiff Council too?

The Llanrumney store is a little larger* than that proposed at Pontcanna Pine/Dairy although it is freestanding without flats above and is directly accessed off the 4-lane Newport Road with shops either side. Cardiff Council refused permission for it in September 2010 only to give permission in October 2010 despite strong opposition from local traders and the local community [450 signature petition]. Three local councillors on the planning committee [including Jacqui Parry, Mike Jones-Pritchard and Derrick Morgan] voiced their opposition due to traffic, road safety and parking. These matters were dealt with by Sainsbury’s by:

  • Off-street parking to the rear for 20 cars [we counted 18 spaces]
  • An off-street disabled parking space with space for wheelchair access close to the store entrance [see photo below]
  • Off-street servicing in a widened vehicle entrance area for one vehicle a day arriving at 6am

(Left) Disabled parking space- note wheelchair access (Right) Sainsbury's carpark

The shop opened in December 2011. So far, two nearby retailers have reported significant reductions in takingsto us – the local grocer and the newsagent. Other shops, like the butchers, have diversified into hot takeaway lunches and the like and hope to try to minimise the impact of the store. There are no greengrocers, deli or bakery nearby. It is early days to know what the long term retail impact will be.

The differences at the Pontcanna Pine site are:

  • It is on a tight junction of two narrow residential streets with single way vehicle access at a time causing rush hour traffic congestion
  • It has only on street servicing and parking which means that residents will be displaced into adjacent streets and other businesses including restaurants will be badly affected by further reduced customer parking
  • It is in a Conservation Area
  • It is directly adjacent and opposite to residents who would have to endure the store’s early opening and being the focus of shopping in the area for alcohol and other goods from 8pm-10pm or 11pm every night of the week with attendant disturbance and unacceptable loss of amenity.
  • The local retailers mix is slightly different in Pontcanna and includes a baker, traditional butcher, greengrocer and deli, all of whom contribute to the area’s positive and distinctive character, and who would be very adversely affected by the store.
  • We also have a much larger number of people in opposition to the store with over 2,000 signatures in a petition against the development. In addition to many more letters – 168 sent in August and all the letters from this campaign.

We hope that Council officers and councillors will recognise that there is a much stronger planning case against Pontcanna Pine than at Llanrumney and will TAKE THE DECISION TO REFUSE.

Simon and Flip White 14/01/11
*450sqm according to the Guardian report below compared to 300sqm but this is not verified.

Link to Guardian article: Sainsbury’s Local in Llanrymney

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