Town council to discuss Willow Brook Centre expansion plans

Starbucks and McDonald's are set to come to the Willow Brook Centre.

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.

Willow Brook Centre expansion masterplan (annotated extract).

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.]

Share this page:


  1. Despite the council advising 292 application notices being sent out, local residents whos houses will be directly effected have not received this officially in writing from the council.
    We have been advised that the closing date of this application has been extended by a further 3 weeks although this has yet to be amended on the application online on the South Glos website.

  2. Thank you all. This year we saw a 6% rise in council tax, having 4 new businesses paying in council tax could have hugely benefited bradley stoke. Furthermore those of us who don’t object to the planning application get seen to be treated like children. I hope those in the council see sense and dismiss those objections. With company closures like bhs, maplin, comet, toys r us, etc, and the city centre appearing derelict, any boost to our infrastructure would have been beneficial.

  3. With the alarming levels of obesity in young people should we be supporting the development of more fast food outlets so close to our schools?

  4. McDonald’s also sells salads. Are you seriously telling me that parents don’t send their kids off for a KFC every now and then? I grew up in a family home where we would eat a balanced diet all week and have a treat every Saturday. Banning everything will not stop kids going to Tesco and buying a family size pack of crisps for £1 instead. What kind of lesson are you teaching by opposing and banning anything that you disagree with instead of educating people on a healthy balanced diet?

    Insufferable liberals will never understand. If you want to help people, help reduce the speed on Concorde road, even after that kid got put in hospital after being run over people still drive over 60mph on that road, but instead you care about a cheeseburger.

  5. Apparently adults are not allowed food outlets because of the children. I vote ban the children from Bradley Stoke. Problem solved.

  6. Healthy weight is managed by ensuring that the calorie intake is balanced by energy used, if a person is an athlete and only eats lettuce then they will lose weight and suffer from fatigue. If someone eats excessive quantities of food and sits down all day playing with a smart phone then they will get fat. It’s very simple science. It matters less what you eat than how lazy you are. People just can’t admit that they don’t like McDonald’s and will use any excuse to follow the latest social trends in protesting popular businesses.

  7. Jim, apart from your tone, I agree with everything you say about how it was back in the day and what needs to be done going forward. I too had occasional treats from my parents as did my children from me, none of us suffering any kind of adverse affect to our health. But forget the planning application for a moment and clearly none of the health education you refer to is working for a lot of the current generation of youngsters. All I was suggesting is that this planning application is not going to improve that situation and will likely make it worse. Sometimes, as responsible adults, we have to forego what we might like for ourselves for the good of others. (I personally have no problems with either Starbucks or McDonald’s, these comments are not about me)

  8. Reading the objections on the South Gloucestershire Council website, most comments are not as reasonable as yours NeilB and as respectable a cause can be for the long term, if someone wishes to make use of a service they will travel to them anyway, having it on the doorstep is just convenient for some of us who like to avoid the Aztec roundabout at all costs. Although one objection claimed there would be an increase in antisocial behaviour, clutching at straws a bit I think. Ah well, what will be will be.

  9. Not worth the trip to Cribbs to eat out on the weekend, jim. There was a queue from Nando’s and McDonald’s 15m long out the door and down the steps yesterday morning. People were eating sat on the floor by the palm trees. I didn’t bother checking the venue restaurants after seeing them queues.

  10. I regret to say that my letter in opposition to the committee and in support of the planning application was not published in this month’s edition of the journal. In previous editions we have read the views of those opposed, but not those in favour of the additional openings to the job market and the much needed extra seating.

    Whilst all on the forum have vastly differing opinions on the subject, it would appear that many are also feeling unrepresented by the community who have outright rejected the proposal.

Comments are closed.