Deadline imminent for making representations on Willow Brook planning appeal

Willow Brook Centre: Planning appeal lodged.

People and organisations interested in making representations for consideration by the inspector who will decide the appeal against refusal of planning permission for development at the Willow Brook Centre have until Wednesday this week (21st August) to submit their written statements.

The appealed decision relates to permission for two new drive-through food and drink units (foreseen to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks) and two new retail units at the Bradley Stoke town centre site.

The deadline comes five weeks after the appeal was officially lodged and validated in mid-July.

The appellant originally requested that the appeal be determined by way of a hearing, and the case officer at the Planning Inspectorate initially announced that this would indeed be the procedure used. However, in a letter dated 7th August, she explained that, after further consideration, the alternative procedure of ‘written representations’ would now be used as a hearing could not be justified:

“…We have applied the criteria and considered all representations received, including the appellant’s preferred choice. We consider that the written representations procedure is the most suitable for this appeal for the following reason(s): Under section 319a of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the inspector having reviewed all evidence has stated that although there are a lot of interested parties, the issues are not particularly complicated and the council have indicated that they will not be submitting anything very technical, therefore a hearing is not justified and this appeal will now proceed by way of written representation…”

Once the submissions deadline has passed, the appellant and the local planning authority (South Gloucestershire Council) have until 4th September to comment on the  representations received from interested persons or organisations.

An inspector will then visit the Willow Brook site. The main parties may be invited to accompany the inspector, but no discussion about the merits of the appeal will be allowed during the site visit.

No date has been set for making a decision on the appeal. Information published on the website GOV.UK states that the current average time taken to decide an appeal determined by the written representations procedure is 27 weeks (from initial validation).

The appellant’s ‘statement of case’ may be viewed on the SGC planning portal under application reference PT18/1491/O (on the ‘Documents’ tab).

To read the full history of the case, visit our Planning Applications of Note page or the archive of posts with the PT18/1491/O tag.

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