Nov 1 2012 By Zoe Drewett
ONE South Ruislip man hopes a redevelopment plan will give the community a gift in time for Christmas.
The South Ruislip Residents’ Association (SRRA) vice-chairman, Sid Jackson, said: “I have been living here for 35 years and we have never had anything built that is for the community.”
The association has been following plans for a redevelopment of the former Express Dairies site – now owned by Arla Foods – in Victoria Road, South Ruislip, for two years.
Arla hopes to submit a planning application by December 20 for the site, which has been derelict since 2006.
The association members are, on the whole, in support of the plans, which include a supermarket, a 10-screen cinema, four restaurants, homes, a hotel and pub and a central piazza with seating.
Arla and developer Citygrove hope to encourage people from the area to use the development by incorporating walking and cycling routes. It is expected that 600 jobs will be created.
Mr Jackson said: “It would be nice to have a restaurant that people can go out to and spend time in South Ruislip. We want something for the community, like restaurants, and doctors surgeries and shops.”
Not all of the SRRA members are in favour. David Seamen is concerned about the increase in traffic congestion at the already busy junction of Victoria Road and Long Drive.
He said: “If what is currently being proposed comes to fruition, South Ruislip will become nothing more than a gridlocked, air polluted retail park.”
But Mr Jackson believes the SRRA’s involvement is positive, adding: “I know that people are opposed to the redevelopment, but if we don’t speak to them [Arla Foods, Citygrove and Hillingdon Council] and give them our ideas and opinions, we won’t get any say in the future.
“We have to communicate and raise our concerns or we won’t get anything we want. The reality is that if we want something done to the site we have to expect more traffic in the area. If we don’t want more traffic, it will continue to stay derelict.”
The former Express Dairies site is not the only planned redevelopment in South Ruislip.
Sainsbury’s hopes to re-build its supermarket in Long Drive and intends to submit an application to Hillingdon Council by the end of the year.
It is likely that if both applications are approved, the two redevelopments would take place at the same time.