PARENTS of children attending an infant and primary school in Kingfield have expressed serious concerns about the safety issues regarding a proposed Morrisons store taking over a site opposite their main entrance.
With a Sainsbury’s already established close by and Kingfield Road lined with small, independent retailers, some residents are questioning why the area needs another supermarket at all, let alone on the doorstep of Kingfield School.
However, their prime concern is the fact that as well as increased traffic from customers frequenting the planned store, daily lorry deliveries will be made and there is no loading bay on the already congested street.
Parents say it would be a constant worry for the safety of young children going to and from the school, as the shop’s entrance is directly opposite and within the hazard lines of the busy pedestrian crossing used by young children and residents.
Vehicles park on both sides of the street with shoppers and parents dropping off and picking up, and some are already parking illegally on the zigzag lines at the crossing.
There is concern that the store, in Sherpa House, will exacerbate the problem.
Elderly residents regularly use the Lloyds pharmacy on the road for their prescription, and need to be able to park nearby.
Plans for the local supermarket do not require permission as they are classed as ‘permitted development’ in the existing building. Morrisons have yet to announce when they intend to open their Kingfield store.
Although the company reported pre-tax losses of £176 million for the year ending February 2, after making an £879m profit in 2012/13, they said their response would be to cut prices, not shops.
Lib Dem County Councillor for South Woking and Borough Councillor for Kingfield and Westfield, Will Forster (left), said: “Surrey County Council will very shortly be holding a consultation to manage deliveries to the new supermarket by creating an on-street loading bay.
“Although close to the pedestrian crossing, the bay will lead away from it, and there will be restricted hours of movement.
“I want to hear what residents and businesses have to say. So far I have had mixed reactions. Some are concerned about safety, especially with Kingfield School across the road, and others about the noise from delivery lorries.”
Meanwhile, 94 jobs are due to be created at the supermarket. Cllr Forster added: “Other residents are positive about the jobs a new store will create and about the competition it will bring.
“To maintain as much parking space as possible, and to avoid school and rush-hour traffic, it is proposed that the loading bay will be operational and enforceable between 11am and 2pm, from Monday to Saturday.
“This means the bay can be used by cars outside those hours and should mean residents are not disturbed by deliveries at unsociable hours.
“Depending on the results of the consultation, the loading bay road markings and time plate should be installed on the ground in May or June.”
To view the Kingfield loading bay plans type ‘tinyurl.com/p3brzhn’ into your web browser address bar.