Lidl plans leave future of Mottingham's Porcupine in the balance
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 June 2019
Lidl is trying again to bulldoze an empty pub in Mottingham much to the despair of neighbours.
Angry pub-goers protested against closure of the Porcupine in 2013.
A campaign was quickly set up to save "Porki" from being handed over to a supermarket.
Lidl have already tried once to get planning permission for the site in Mottingham Road, but this was thrown out by Bromley Council.
Despite appealing to the government, Lidl failed to get the necessary green light - and opted to sell the site instead.
A campaign got the site listed as an "asset of community value", but no one came forward with alternative proposals so Lidl has decided it will try again.
"Despite the initiatives detailed above, the site of the Porcupine Inn has now been vacant for almost six years," planning documents explain.
The continue: "Lidl is now seeking again to promote redevelopment of the site to bring it back into productive use, to deliver a valuable neighbourhood food store for the community."
Lidl says bringing the site back into use will provide jobs and secure the future of the site.
The supermarket says it has revised the issues that stumped its last application when it was taken to a government planning inspector, which was mainly due to the impact on surrounding roads.
However, many people remain unconvinced, with more than 60 objections so far listed.
One objector said: "Our main concerns for this proposal still surround the increased traffic in the area. As a resident in Mottingham Lane we urge the planning committee to witness our lane during school dropping off times and picking up. It is almost a no-go area at these times."
Another said: "It should be open as a family pub again, we don't want a Lidl. It'd be a shame if the pub gets knocked down."
However, some neighbours have backed the scheme - with one saying: "We need this shop here. There aren't any low cost shops in the area and it's what everyone wants. It will promote the area and cause it to flourish economically. The pub isn't in use and no one has wanted to buy it to keep it as a pub so the best thing to do is create something, such as Lidl, that will help the community."
A decision is expected in the coming months.