Posts Tagged ‘The Willow Brook Centre’

Parties submit cases in McDonald’s appeal

Posted on Friday 4th October 2019 at 8:34 am by SH (Editor)

Willow Brook Centre: Planning appeal in progress.

The parties involved in the Willow Brook Centre’s appeal against a decision to refuse planning permission for additional development at the town centre site have been making their final written submissions to the Planning Inspectorate.

The centre wants to build two new drive-through food and drink units (foreseen to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks) and is also seeking outline permission to add two new units to the existing retail terrace (beyond Poundstretcher), with an associated reconfiguration of the car park.

The proposals have proved controversial because of the proximity of the drive-through units to residential properties in Wheatfield Drive, with the single-storey Starbucks being just 22m away from the nearest dwelling. The adjacent two-storey McDonald’s building would be 50m distant.

The centre has taken the case to appeal after two different planning committees at South Gloucestershire Council refused permission on the grounds that allowing it 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”. It was also ruled that the proposals “fail to promote the economic, social and environmental character of the area”.

Following on from the submission of the appellant’s ‘statement of case’ (reported in a previous article), an ‘appeal statement’ has now been submitted by consultants acting on behalf of the council.

The two parties have also agreed a ‘statement of common ground’, which confirms that the reasons for refusal relate only to the two proposed food and drink units, i.e. the proposed retail terrace expansion is acceptable to the council.

In the statement, the council confirms that the general principle of building two drive-through food and drinks units at some location within the town centre site is acceptable. It is also agreed that proximity to schools does not relate to any aspect of the reasons for refusal.

The parties are also agreed that “the proposals would not be harmful based on the number and distribution of food and drink units at the Willow Brook Centre or wider area of Bradley Stoke”.

More: Proposals "break the consolidated form of the shopping centre" »

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Discount retailer One Below to open store at Willow Brook

Posted on Thursday 19th September 2019 at 10:38 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of shoppers queuing outside a One Below store.

One Below, a new UK discount shopping brand from the original founders of Poundworld, is to open a store in Bradley Stoke later this month, creating 20 local retail jobs.

The new store is scheduled to open in the former Poundworld unit at the Willow Brook Centre on Friday 27th September, at 10am.

The independent chain claims to be the only discount store in the UK selling everything for £1 or under and it specialises in frequent ‘get it before it’s gone’ one-off deals.

It sells a wide range of well-known brands including Coca Cola, Pedigree, Heinz, Kellogg’s and Cadbury’s.

One Below, which opened its first stores in March 2019, is independently financed by father and son retail entrepreneurs Christopher Edwards (36) and Christopher Edwards Senior. The pair were the original founders of former high street retailer Poundworld Retail Limited before it was sold to American private equity conglomerate, TPG Capital in 2014.

The new venture now has more than 50 stores, with the nearest currently being at Channons Hill Retail Park in Fishponds.

Poundworld entered administration in June 2018 and all its stores were closed by August that year, with the loss of more than 5,000 jobs.

A spokesperson for the new venture said some of the 13 staff members who lost their jobs when the Bradley Stoke Poundworld outlet closed have been taken on at the new One Below store.

Christopher Edwards, managing director of One Below Retail Limited, said:

“We’re delighted to be opening a store at the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke. It’s a great location and we’re hoping that the store is going to go down well with shoppers looking for some great deals.”

More: Photo of the former Poundworld store at Willow Brook »

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Latest on the Willow Brook planning appeal

Posted on Wednesday 11th September 2019 at 10:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Willow Brook Centre: Planning appeal in progress.

Agents acting on behalf of Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre have lodged an appeal against South Gloucestershire Council’s decision to refuse planning 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 town centre site.

The controversial planning application, submitted in March 2018, was first denied permission by the local authority’s Development Management Committee in February 2019 and then again in March 2019 by the higher-level Spatial Planning Committee.

Officers at South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) had originally recommended that the application be approved, but it was ‘called in’ for a decision to be made by council members.

With one of the proposed food drink units being located only 22m from the nearest residential property in Wheatfield Drive at its closet point, councillors decided there would be “prejudicial impact on residential amenity due to noise, general disturbance, fumes, smells, and late night activity”. They also said the proposals “failed to promote the economic, social and environmental character of the area”.

News of the appeal surfaced in early July when a Planning Inspectorate appeal application form dated 28th June 2019 appeared on the council’s planning portal.

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, stating: “… 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…”

More: Anger as further applications (for signage) are submitted »

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Hospice charity shop now open at Willow Brook

Posted on Friday 6th September 2019 at 8:38 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Chris Judd cutting the ribbon, assisted by store manager Simon George.

Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) opened its 35th and newest shop in the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke on Friday 16th August.

The new outlet, located in the mall unit previously occupied by former Carphone Warehouse, offers a range of goods, including women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and accessories, as well as children’s toys and games and homewares.

Every item sold helps the charity to offer vital care and respite to more than 500 children with life-limiting conditions and their families across the South West.

The Bradley Stoke shop is anchored by a small paid team consisting of one full-time manager and three part-time assistant managers. They are supported by a team of enthusiastic volunteers, currently numbering around 20.

Although there has been a “brilliant” response already, the charity is on the look-out for more local volunteers to help run the new shop.

There’s a variety of tasks that people can do to help make a difference, from processing stock received from donations, to creating window displays, dressing mannequins and processing payments.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering can email or enquire in the shop.

Stock donations to the new shop are welcome and items can be dropped off during opening hours or alternatively call 01275 866600 to arrange collections of large items.

Opening hours are 9am-6pm Mon-Sat and 10am-4pm Sun.

Photo: Chris Judd (CHSW head of retail) cuts the ribbon, assisted by store manager Simon George (on right, in striped jacket).

This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 25). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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