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:
- Planning application: PT18/1491/O
- Agenda and reports for Thursday’s meeting
- De-briefing notes from the 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.
Above: Willow Brook Centre expansion masterplan (annotated extract).
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