Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

More delays mean McDonald’s application will now be assessed under council’s new procedures

Posted on Wednesday 14th November 2018 at 9:56 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of around 30 protesters, some holding placards, outside the Willow Brook Centre.

Further delays in South Gloucestershire Council’s assessment of a controversial planning application for proposed development at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre that could see drive-through McDonald’s and Starbucks outlets opening at the site mean that it will now be determined under new procedures which have been described by opposition councillors as “anti-democratic” and “a body blow to residents’ rights”.

The Willow Brook planning application was submitted back in March but has been delayed by the need for the applicant’s agent to respond to concerns raised by a number of council departments, including highways, environmental health and tree protection.

Over 140 members of the public have formally registered objections to the application, against just five who have written in support. Bradley Stoke Town Council also voted unanimously to object, citing traffic, highways and environmental concerns. Opinions expressed on the Journal’s online channels have, however, been more balanced, with plenty of readers saying they would welcome the new facilities.

SGC’s new planning system procedures, agreed by the Conservative-led authority in July, came into force on 1st November and any current applications not decided by this date will now be decided under the new rules. The authority says the changes are intended to modernise the planning system and help the council defend its decision making against potentially costly appeals.

Features of the new system that have come under criticism include the exclusion of members of the public from site inspection meetings, where planning committee members visit the location of an application to better understand the physical context. Also, it is now much more likely that small to medium size applications will be determined solely by a planning officer rather than being brought to a committee of councillors, since the new system now requires three councillors to refer a proposed officer decision to committee, compared to just one previously.

More: Report claims no night time noise impacts on nearby homes »

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Decision day edging closer for McDonald’s and Starbucks plans

Posted on Monday 22nd October 2018 at 11:00 pm by SH (Editor)

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

A planning application for proposed development at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre that could see McDonald’s and Starbucks outlets opening at the site is approaching the point at which a decision could soon be made, the Journal can reveal.

The proposed scheme includes two drive-through food and drink units 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.

Originally submitted in March, the planning application attracted a large number of public comments in relation to the food and drink units.

Bradley Stoke Town Council (one of many statutory consultees) voted unanimously to object to the application and South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) environmental protection team also raised “serious concerns” over the potential impact on nearby housing.

A statement provided by SGC in May noted the high level of comments received and said that this was likely to require “ongoing discussions with the applicant”.

Noting that the proposed development would reduce the number of car parking spaces at the centre, an SGC transportation officer later raised concerns over the submitted travel plan, saying it did little to discourage employees at the centre from driving to work, given that they are exempt from the four-hour parking limit.

More: Officer report [was] expected by mid-October »

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Delay may benefit golf course homes scheme

Posted on Friday 19th October 2018 at 8:45 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the entrance to Woodlands Golf & Country Club, from Trench Lane.

The ‘examination in public’ of a crucial strategic planning document which designates acceptable sites for major housing developments in the West of England over the next 18 years has been delayed by several months after independent inspectors appointed by the government requested additional information from the area’s four councils.

The delay could give the promoter of a scheme to build 2,000 homes at Woodlands Golf Course, near Bradley Stoke, a second chance to get the site included in the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) as a so-called strategic development location (SDL), having failed to convince the local councils to designate it as such in the initial version of the document.

The JSP was submitted to government in April this year for an examination process to confirm that the policies and plans drawn up over the past three years meet statutory requirements. On behalf of the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, two independent planning inspectors are following a process to test the work done by the local authorities to ensure that the JSP is fit for purpose and fulfils their legal obligation to produce a ‘sound’ plan.

The inspectors have requested additional information from the councils in relation to the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and the Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA), as well as requesting clarification and further evidence within other technical work areas, including transport.

The councils will therefore run a six-week consultation process in November and December this year to give people the opportunity to see the information that will be provided and to make comments on it. That feedback will be passed to the inspectors to consider as they prepare for the next phase of their assessment of the JSP. This will mean that the public hearings part of the examination process which had been anticipated to take place this autumn is now expected to take place around mid-May 2019.

More: Promoters claim site is "in an extremely sustainable location" »

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Councillors raise concerns over developer’s plan for 2,000 homes at Woodlands Golf Course

Posted on Sunday 26th August 2018 at 7:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Map showing the site of the proposed Woodlands Garden Village.

Local Conservative councillors John Ashe and Roger Avenin are raising awareness of a land development company’s continued efforts to have the Woodlands Golf Course site included in a crucial strategic planning document, potentially opening the way for 2,000 new homes to be built at this location.

One of the purposes of the West of England Councils’ Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) is to identify so-called strategic development locations (SDLs) which have the potential to deliver a significant contribution to the number of new homes assessed to be required across the region in the period up to 2036.

Formulation of the JSP began in 2015 and it went through three rounds of public consultation prior to being submitted to the secretary of state for housing,communities and local government on 13th April 2018. The next stage in the process will be for the government to review the plan through an ‘Examination in Public’, which is expected to take place in autumn 2018.

The Woodlands Golf Course site appeared as a potential ‘urban extension’ SDL in the first draft of the JSP published in November 2015 (under the generic title of ‘land north of M4/M5’). However, by the time the second draft was published in November 2016 it had been removed from the maps and was mentioned only in a section headed ‘Locations considered and not put forward for inclusion in the emerging spatial strategy’. There is then no mention of the site in the final ‘publication document’ version of the JSP recently submitted to the secretary of state.

More: Developer continues to push for site’s inclusion in JSP »

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