Monday, June 17th, 2024

Car dealership disappears – to make way for new supermarket

Almost gone – Haywards in Otford Road, Sevenoaks.

THERE it was gone – well almost! The former Haywards car dealership, which had become one of the landmarks on Otford Road, Sevenoaks, has been bulldozed to the ground and last week this small corner (pictured right) of the original building was all that remained of the former Peugeot specialist.

It is making way for an Aldi supermarket which was granted planning permission by Sevenoaks District Council last October.

Sevenoaks Town Council also backed the application but there were objections from Waitrose, which has outlets in the town and in the Shell garage by Sevenoaks station, although it is understood there were no objections from Sainsbury’s which has a superstore nearby and a Sainsbury’s Local store just up the road at Bat & Ball traffic lights.

Haywards as it was. It is being replaced by an Aldi supermarket.

Aldi, which is German-owned, is developing the Haywards site into a new 1,500sqm store which will create up to 50 new jobs in the area.

In a letter to the planners, Waitrose said they feared the arrival of another supermarket in the Sevenoaks area could force the retailer to shut down its store on Sevenoaks high street. The company’s letter was one of 13 objecting to the plan, and exactly the same amount was received supporting the new supermarket.

Planning officer Mike Holmes, said: “After reviewing the proposed development’s potential effect on the town centre, I have concluded that there will be no adverse impacts on retail patterns within Sevenoaks.”

The area around Haywards has seen other changes in the last few decades. The original Otford Road was re-routed and widened some years ago and the town ‘rubbish dump’ on land behind Haywards moved to its current site at the Dunbrik depot in Sundridge. The former refuse site and is now used as a storage depot by Sevenoaks District Council.

The former football pitch opposite the gas works on Otford Road, Sevenoaks. But who played there?

A little further up the road in the shadow of the gas towers was a football pitch and wooden changing room. Football has not been played there for years and the changing room is long gone, but the site was used annually by a travelling fairground.

The fairground now also seems a thing of the past and the football ground is overgrown with bushes. Does anyone remember who used to play there?

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