Bradley Stoke Town Council’s (BSTC’s) Planning & Environment Committee is set discuss expansion plans submitted by the town’s Willow Brook shopping centre at a meeting this Wednesday (25th April).
The meeting takes place at the Jubilee Centre in Savages Wood Road [BS32 8HL], commencing at 7pm. Members of the public will be permitted to speak, either at the start of the meeting or, at the discretion of the chair, immediately prior to the discussion of the planning application.
The proposed scheme includes two drive-through food and drink units (foreseen to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks) and two additional (non-food) retail units within the existing boundaries of the site.
The two drive-throughs (which will also include dine-in facilities) would be erected to the north-east of the site, on land which currently comprises car parking – part of which is currently occupied by the Waves hand car wash facility.
The two (non-food) retail units would be added to the end of the existing retail terrace, beyond the Poundstretcher store, also on land that is currently used for car parking.
A pre-application submission was made to South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and the planning authority is said to have confirmed its “in principle support” for the proposed development subject to a number of “transport issues” being resolved.
Further details revealed in the formal planning application, submitted on 26th March, show that the proposed McDonald’s restaurant will be a two-storey building of 542qm floor space, while the Starbucks unit will be single-storey of 167sqm.
The plans are being strongly opposed by many residents in Wheatfield Drive and Dewfalls Drive, the two roads closest to the northern boundary of the Willow Brook Centre site. Around 25 of them attended a previous meeting of the BSTC committee in February, where they voiced their concerns over plans that had been disclosed in a pre-application consultation exercise.
Full planning permission is being sought for the food and drink units (phase 1) but only outline permission for the retail units (phase 2), meaning that a further ‘reserved matters’ planning application will be needed in due course for the latter.
The Journal understands that the proposed extension to the retail terrace and associated reconfiguration of the car park will not be developed in the short term, but will be progressed dependent on demand from prospective occupiers.
Statements of interest noted in the documents submitted with the formal planning application include:
- “To ensure both operators have the flexibility they require, 24 hours per day and 7 days per week opening is sought for the McDonald’s and Starbucks units.”
- “The proposed Starbucks is expected to employ the equivalent of 20 full time employees. The McDonald’s restaurant is expected to employ more than 65 full and part time staff.”
- “Phase 1 will result in a net loss of 80 car parking spaces so that 927 spaces will be provided. Phase 2 includes the reconfiguration of the car park so that 927 spaces will be retained [despite the addition of the two new retail units].”
- “Delivery access to the McDonald’s and Starbucks would be along the primary vehicular route around the car park that passes directly in front of the proposed drive-through units. In order to accommodate this during the phase 1 works the initial bend into the car park will need to be loosened to allow the delivery vehicles to navigate the bend without impeding on the opposing lane of traffic.”
At the time of writing, around 40 comments have been made on the planning application by members of the public, all of them registering objections.
SGC’s Environmental Protection team has also raised concerns, stating:
“We have serious concerns however about the effect of phase 1 of the development on the nearby housing with regard to potential noise from cars idling; voices and noise from people in cars; any sound equipment being used in cars; and the potential for light from headlights in residential properties as the cars enter the new developments. This is particularly important in view of the intention to open the proposed units for 24 hours 7 days a week.”
The BSTC committee’s views on the application will be forwarded to SGC for consideration by the case officer.
A final decision on the application will be made by SGC’s Development Control (West) Committee in due course.
The planning application reference is PT18/1491/O. Information in this article has come principally from the Planning Statement, the Design and Access Statement and the Proposed Master Plan.
• The closing date for public comments on the planning application has been extended to 14th May.
Image: Extract from the master plan submitted with the formal planning application. Red outline: Phase 1. Blue outline: Phase 2. [Annotations added by the Journal.]
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