Posts Tagged ‘The Willow Brook Centre’

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Council steps in to replace lost berry trees

Posted on Monday 5th March 2018 at 9:32 pm by SH (Editor)

Waxwing pictured at the Willow Brook Centre. [Photo credit: Chris Teague]

Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) has stepped in to ensure that, in future years, there will be a plentiful supply of food for a rare category of occasional visitor to the town.

In recent winters, the town has become well known amongst the bird watching community as a favoured feeding ground for waxwings, unusually coloured birds which are native to Scandinavia and Russia, but who sometimes migrate to the UK when local food supplies run low.

They are attracted to Bradley Stoke by the area’s above average density of rowan trees, whose berries constitute the birds’ favourite food source.

“Irruptions” (influxes) of waxwings have been noted locally in three of the last seven winters and the one last year drew scores of bird watching enthusiasts to the Willow Brook shopping centre, where the birds spent several weeks stripping the rowan trees of berries.

But the birdwatchers’ delight turned to anger when contractors at the centre started uprooting some of the rowan trees, leading to protests and heated exchanges on social media.

The centre management responded by saying that the trees were in a poor condition and were being substituted with other species in a rolling maintenance programme that had begun two years earlier. Altogether, 28 rowans were removed over two years, although the centre says it has since planted five new ones and a few others remain on the site.

Following last year’s controversy, Cllr John Ashe asked if the town council might consider planting replacements, and it has now agreed to purchase 60 rowan trees which will be planted in two separate locations within the town’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve. Some will be planted on the bank of the Tump and the others alongside the community orchard.

More: Trees will be planted by Green Gym and Conservation Group »

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Willow Brook reveals plans for McDonald’s and Starbucks drive-throughs

Posted on Wednesday 21st February 2018 at 10:14 pm by SH (Editor)

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

Agents working on behalf of Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre have revealed proposals to erect two drive-through food and drink units (McDonald’s and Starbucks) and two additional (non-food) retail units within the existing boundaries of the site.

Subject to planning permission, the two drive-throughs 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.

The work would also include a “rearrangement” of the car park, to recover lost spaces, which would bring the main access road closer to residential properties along the northern boundary of the site.

The expansion proposals are outlined in a ‘pre-application consultation’ letter which has been delivered to neighbouring residential properties in Dewfalls Drive and Wheatfield Drive. The letter solicits the “views of local stakeholders” and asks that comments or concerns be addressed to the agents, Alder King Planning, by 28th February 2018.

Alder King say they will endeavour to address any issues raised before a formal planning application is submitted to South Gloucestershire Council. A further opportunity to make comments will be available at a later date during the normal public consultation period of the planning application.

Some neighbouring residents who have received the letter have distributed it more widely, through letterboxes and online, saying they are “very unhappy” with the proposals and have set about coordinating a “community response”.

More: Residents’ group raises concerns over traffic levels and litter »

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Willow Brook Centre set to shine at Christmas lights turn-on spectacular

Posted on Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 8:56 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of characters from children’s favourite Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom on a previous visit to the Willow Brook Centre.

Live music, children’s entertainers, fairground rides and Santa’s grotto will greet shoppers at the live turn-on of the Willow Brook Centre’s Christmas lights.

The festivities will begin at midday on Saturday 18th November, with the big switch-on happening at 5pm.

A Robbie Williams tribute act will entertain the crowds during the afternoon; there will also be music in the mall and town square, courtesy of Bradley Stoke Radio and Jelli Records.

Manager at the Willow Brook Centre, Andy Wynn, said:

“We’re really looking forward to this fun, family day out, where people can enjoy hours of entertainment before our big switch-on. We’ve organised a range of activities for all ages, so there will be plenty for everyone to do.”

Poster advertising the Christmas lights switch-on event.

Characters from children’s favourite Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom will be live on stage at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, as well as at 4.40pm ready for the live switch-on of the lights.

Wandering entertainers will amuse shoppers and there will be a face painter and crafts table for the youngsters.

The elves will open Santa’s grotto from 10am, so boys and girls will be able to step inside to meet Father Christmas.

Andy added:

“Shoppers and guests are more than welcome to stay and enjoy the activities after the big switch-on. We’ve got fairground rides in the town square that will continue into the evening.”

More info: What’s On at the Willow Brook Centre

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Tanning salon on the cards for Willow Brook

Posted on Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 9:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Archive image of mall unit 8 at the Willow Brook Centre trading as a Santander agency in 2011.

A retail unit at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre which has lain vacant for the past three years looks set to reopen soon as a tanning salon after planning consent was granted for a change of use.

Mall unit 8, between Ocean estate agents and Reflections hair salon, last traded as an agency of Santander bank, alongside mortgage and insurance specialists The Mortgage Market.

The recently granted planning application was made on behalf of The Feel Good Group, which operates the Tanning Shop brand, under whose banner the store is expected to operate.

A planning statement submitted with the application notes that the unit has been extensively marketed since the Santander agency closed, but no potential retail or Class A2 (financial services) operators have shown serious interest.

The statement adds: “The proposed tanning salon use will undoubtedly positively add to the diversity of uses on offer in the town centre and will ensure the long term vital and viable use of the premises.”

The Feel Good Group is an established operator of tanning salons, with shops throughout the UK and particularly in London. Each shop provides both UV and sunless tanning booths and staff are trained to promote responsible tanning and UV exposure. The shops also stock a range of tanning products including tanning SPF, fake tan products, skin care and body products.

In approving the application, the responsible council planning officer noted that the proposal would not result in the loss of a retail unit within the town centre, as the previous Class A2 use was not principally retail. Additionally, it was noted the proposed tanning salon would have a retail element, with tanning products displayed and sold within the salon. On this basis, it was not considered that the proposed change of use would detract from the retail character and function of the centre.

The consent granted allows the salon to open between 9am and 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and 11am to 6pm on Sundays. A total of five new jobs will be created, two full-time and three part-time.

The Journal understands that contracts are yet to be signed for a new lease, but as we went to press it was noted that a “coming soon” webpage had already been created for the Willow Brook Centre branch on the Tanning Shop website.

Photo: Archive image of mall unit 8 at the Willow Brook Centre trading as a Santander agency in 2011.

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 34). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

UPDATE (18/10/17): Shopfitters have commenced work within the unit.

UPDATE (19/10/17): A press release issued today by The Tanning Shop says their new Willow Brook store is “scheduled to open in November”.

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