Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

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

Posted on Monday 18th March 2019 at 12:07 am by SH (Editor)

Elevations of proposed Starbucks and McDonald's restaurants.

Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Spatial Planning Committee (SPC) will meet in Bradley Stoke on Tuesday afternoon (19th March) to “re-evaluate” 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, had been recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers but was turned down by its Development Management Committee (DMC) at a meeting on 21st February. The DMC had previously met in January to consider the application, but deferred a decision to allow a site inspection visit to take place.

Residents of properties in Wheatfield Drive and Dewfalls Drive object 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. The closest property in Wheatfield Drive would be 22m distant from the single-storey Starbucks unit and 50m from the two-storey McDonald’s building

The DMC’s reasons for refusal were minuted as:

“That the proposed development, if permitted, would result in a harmful concentration of food and drink uses resulting in a prejudicial impact on residential amenity due to noise, general disturbance, fumes, smells, and late night activity.”

In view of the DMC’s decision to overturn the officer recommendation, the application has automatically been referred to the SPC, which is a larger committee of 26 members, from which the nine members of the DMC are drawn.

The SPC must deal with the application de novo, i.e. it is not a review of the DMC decision, but a full determination.

More: Only nine members will take part in the SPC meeting on Tuesday »

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SGC committee refuses permission for McDonald’s and Starbucks drive-throughs

Posted on Thursday 7th March 2019 at 9:52 pm by SH (Editor)

Composite image showing McDonald's and Starbucks logos overlaid on a photo of the Willow Brook Centre site.

A controversial planning application for new developments at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre that would include two new drive-through food units anticipated to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks has been refused permission.

The proposed scheme, which also includes two new retail units and rearrangement of the car park, had been recommended for approval by a South Gloucestershire Council planning officer, but was ‘called in’ by a number of local ward members for determination by committee.

Meeting at the Jubilee Centre in Bradley Stoke on Thursday 21st February, the Development Management (DM) Committee was considering the application for the second time in four weeks after members had deferred a decision at their January meeting to allow a site inspection visit to take place.

Photo showing council members, officials and members of the public at the DMC meeting on 21st February.

Above: Committee meeting under way at the Jubilee Centre.

Proceedings at the meeting followed the usual pattern with supporters and objectors being given time to air their views before councillors debated the issues, with guidance from the principal planning officer. However, one noticeable difference this time was that Bradley Stoke councillor Roger Avenin, who, as a committee member, had spoken strongly against the application at the previous meeting, spoke from the public gallery, his place on the committee having been taken by Stoke Gifford councillor Ernie Brown. The Journal understands that Cllr Avenin was advised to step down as it was feared that he may have “fettered his discretion”.

Many of the points raised by the public and local ward councillors centred on the remoteness of the two food units from the main buildings at the centre (they would be positioned either side of the current Waves car wash) and their close proximity to residential properties in Wheatfield Drive.

More: Councillors ignore guidance from principal planning officer »

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

Posted on Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 9:56 pm by SH (Editor)

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.

More: Meeting location, time, agenda and reports »

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Local councillors win site inspection concession in row over McDonald’s and Starbucks plans

Posted on Wednesday 6th February 2019 at 6:58 pm by SH (Editor)

Composite image showing McDonald's and Starbucks logos overlaid on a photo of the Willow Brook Centre site.

A decision on whether the Willow Brook Centre will be allowed to construct two drive-through food units in the north-eastern corner of its car park, just 25m away from residential properties in Wheatfield Drive, has been deferred for at least a month.

The delay, to allow time for councillors on South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Development Management Committee to undertake a site inspection visit, was agreed after planning officers who had recommended approval were faced with a barrage of criticism from a spokesperson representing residents of nearby properties, supported by Bradley Stoke Town Council’s deputy town clerk and three South Gloucestershire councillors representing wards in Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford.

The controversial food units, which are anticipated to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks, form phase 1 of the proposed development, for which full planning permission is being sought. The application also seeks outline permission for phases 2 and 3, which include the addition of two new units on the end of the existing retail terrace (beyond Poundstretcher) and rearrangement of the car park.

Meeting in Kingswood on 24th January, the committee heard first from the developer’s agent who stressed that the council’s officers now have no objections to the scheme after minor amendments had been made to the plans and a specialist report on night time noise had been commissioned and its conclusions accepted. He added that the new food units are essential to maintain the viability of the centre at a time of declining retail sales on the high street.

The meeting then heard from a representative of the Dewfalls and Wheatfield Drive Residents Association (DAWDRA), who summarised some of the points raised in the 145 public objections lodged against the scheme, which include concerns over noise, litter, cooking smells and anti-social behaviour. The representative said her group had met with the developers, but they had shown no willingness to compromise, in particular with regard to the question of why the food units weren’t being built closer to the main buildings at the centre (and thereby much further away from residential properties).

More: Transport officer’s report "pure Alice in Wonderland" fiction »

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