Decision day (take two) for McDonald’s and Starbucks planning application

Annotated plan showing 'brick to brick' distances between the proposed McDonald's and Starbucks food units and the closest property in Wheatfield Drive.

Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Development Management Committee will meet in Bradley Stoke tomorrow afternoon (Thursday 21st February) to once again consider a controversial planning application for new development at the town’s Willow Brook shopping centre.

The proposed scheme, which includes two new drive-through food units expected to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks, has been recommended for approval by the council’s officers but is opposed by Bradley Stoke Town Council and a number of local South Gloucestershire ward councillors.

The plans were first considered at the committee’s previous meeting held in Kingswood on 24th January, but, following almost two hours of representations and debate, councillors voted to defer a decision so that they could hold a site inspection visit.

The inspection visit, attended by seven of the nine committee members, duly took place under atrocious weather conditions on Friday 8th February (see photo below). Ahead of the meeting, outlines of the proposed McDonald’s and Starbucks buildings, which would be sited either side of the present Waves car wash facility, were spray painted on the surface of the car park to aid interpretation of the plans.

Residents of properties in Wheatfield Drive and Dewfalls Drive have objected to the scheme, saying that the drive-through units should be built closer to the existing main buildings at the centre, in keeping with its original design ethos. An annotated plan (above; click to enlarge), drawn up at the request of the committee following the site inspection visit, shows that the closest property in Wheatfield Drive (at top edge) would be 22m distant from the single-storey Starbucks unit and 50m from the two-storey McDonald’s building.

In an updated report, planning officers emphasise that there are “no legal agreements or conditions that prevent further development around the car park”.

The applicant has, in recent days, submitted files containing aerial photographs of existing McDonald’s outlets at other sites which are in close proximity to residential housing.

As well as seeking full planning permission for the two new food units, the application also seeks outline permission for the addition of two new retail units on the end of the existing retail terrace (beyond Poundstretcher) and an associated re-arrangement of the car park.

Should committee members resolve to ignore the officer recommendation and refuse planning permission, the application will automatically be referred to the council’s Spatial Planning Committee, which could choose to reverse the decision.

The meeting of the Development Management Committee, which is open to the public, takes place at the Jubilee Centre, Bradley Stoke [BS32 8HL; map], starting at 3pm.

More information and related links:

Photo showing members of the committee on a site inspection visit.

Above: Site inspection visit on 8th February 2019. Part of the outline of the proposed McDonald’s food unit can be seen marked with yellow paint on the surface of the car park.

Willow Brook Centre expansion masterplan (annotated extract).

Above: Willow Brook Centre expansion masterplan (annotated extract).

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  1. Terrible – so close to the secondary school and primary schools.
    What about trying to get the country healthy – i thought that was the plan – of course we need more fast food retailers ! more litter and a fatter unhealthy society – evidently the NHS doesnt have enough work to do ..

    Oh and whilst im on the subject “why dont we also get rid of a parkrun in very close by little stoke…” although this in itself will be deemed admissible as different constituency and not applicable .. :’-(

    To the comment below from applicant :
    The applicant has, in recent days, submitted files containing aerial photographs of existing McDonald’s outlets at other sites which are in close proximity to residential housing.

    Just because they have evidence that other sites are in similar proximity — does’nt make it right ! history doesnt mean it needs to repeat itself ! i thought we were meant to live and learn by our mistakes.

    dont let this go ahead ! bring in healthy environmentally food shops and bring back little stoke parkrun ! the public would surely commend !

  2. There’s no reason to lose tempers over this, nobody unleashed such outrage at Costa opening who only serve high calory beverages and sugary cakes along with sausage baps and biscuits, it’s a business opportunity in a time where businesses are failing across the country. Calm down and just let it be. If you don’t like eating there, then don’t. You can have your dietary choices and I can have mine, but please don’t insist that you know best for me.

  3. SGC’s Development Management Committee has voted to REFUSE permission for proposed development at the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke.

    The planning application now goes to a higher-level committee for “re-evaluation”. More in our March magazine, out 2nd March.

    Transcript of our live reporting from the meeting (originally published on our Twitter feed): [PDF]

  4. The outlined plan is a a bad plan, and should fail.

    Two drive-thru food outlets does not make sense at the back a car park that suffers congestion and is close to residents.

    Extending the current Centre, close to Bradley Stoke Way and Metrobus would make sense.

  5. It only required adjustment to be made acceptable to all parties. I saw many complaints but no reasonable solutions on the table.

    If it were not a drive through, would this be acceptable? If it were not 24 hours, would that be acceptable?

    Historically, Bradley Stoke has complained about nearly every potential development in the area regarding property, business and transport.

    There will come a time where the level of local complaints could drive away potential developments and the community will stagnate.

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