Hillingdon Council has approved the conversion of a former Pets at Home store into a Farm Foods in Hayes. Part of the council’s consideration was the positioning of the Farm Foods within an air quality management area on Springfield Road.
In order to mitigate the impact of increased traffic from Farm Foods customers and the store’s delivery vehicles a payment of £163,404 by the retailer was agreed upon which will be used to help the council deliver its air quality local action place.
The approved application also agreed to reconfigure the parking of the already existing retail park to help better instigate access to the shop. After assessing the possible impact on town centre business by approving the application which was judged to be limited but not significant.
In the discussion phase of the meeting, councillor Philip Corthorne raised concerns about the impact Farm Foods might have on other businesses. The councillor questioned how rigorous the officer’s assessment had been.
Officers responded: “A lot of rigour I would say, with a store like this the main units affected will be on the Sainsbury’s on the Lombardy retail park which is about 300 metres west of the site and the Lidl store on the Uxbridge Road town centre. So the impacts on town centres is going to be very limited.”
Councillor Roy Chamdal raised a concern about the potential backlog of cars down Springfield Road due to new visitors coming to do a supermarket shop, however, officers say that it is an ‘unlikely’ scenario after conducting a traffic assessment.
Chair of the Major Planning Committee at Hillingdon Council, Councillor Adam Bennett said: “For what it’s worth I quite like it [the application]. If you drive around the borough there are far too many empty retail outlets everywhere
“The fact that a sizeable national retailer wants to take on this currently abandoned site and turn it into a viable business is in my view good news for residents in the borough, once you get one empty retailer and less people start coming to the site you can quickly end up with two or three and then it becomes even more problematic.”
The plan was approved unanimously by the council.