CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after unpopular plans for a Lidl supermarket were rejected by the planning inspector. Inspector Ron Boyd yesterday dismissed the chain's appeal to develop the site of the former Good Companions pub in Limspfield Road, Sanderstead, citing "highway safety". Campaigners had battled the plans mainly on predicted traffic problems and the potential risk from the extra traffic to children at two nearby schools. Local campaigner Paul Redlington said today: "This is a great day for the residents of Hamsey Green and neighbouring areas. "It's an astounding result given we were up against the financial might of Lidl, their planning experts, and even a QC. "All we had was our determination, and a conviction not to be steam-rollered by a business that failed to listen to genuine concerns about traffic and safety." He added: "It is also a victory for the 2,000 local school children all of whom would have been at risk from this development." The decision brings to apparent close a battle raging since August 2012 when Lidl first revealed its plans for the site. Officers at Croydon Council recommended the plans be approved, but councillors voted against them last August, triggering Lidl's appeal. In his four-page decision following a public inquiry, Mr Boyd said the store plus 70 car parking spaces and a new access road would create the "potential for confusion between drivers" and "increase the number of potentially conflicting traffic movements". He added the plans would create "a new source of potential conflict" between pedestrians, particularly school children, and vehicles. He concluded the development would "adversely affect safety on the adjoining transport network." Mr Redlington added he hoped Lidl would now sell the site to "a responsible developer who will listen to the local community."
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