Posts Tagged ‘The Willow Brook Centre’

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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Firework spectacular to round off Willow Brook Christmas lights switch-on event

Posted on Monday 12th November 2018 at 11:45 pm by SH (Editor)

Christmas Lights Switch-on Event at the Willow Brook Centre in 2015.

New Friday evening spot for popular festive function.

The official start of Christmas festivities at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre will be celebrated with a spectacular firework display on Friday 16th November.

This year’s seasonal lights switch-on is set to be nothing short of sensational, with live music from Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) finalists, fire jugglers and more.

The town square will start to come alive around 5pm with music being played by Bradley Stoke Radio.

Centre manager Andy Wynn, said:

“We’ve got a build-up of music and entertainment for more than two-and-a-half hours before the official Christmas lights switch-on at 7.30pm. We’re extremely excited about all the events we have planned for the evening. This will definitely be a night not to miss!”

Born to Swing, who reached the final of BGT in 2014, will take to the stage with live performances at 5.30pm and 6.45pm. Meanwhile, at 6.15pm, fire jugglers Loz and Marky will wow the crowds with their daredevil act.

The big lights switch-on will take place at 7.30pm and will be followed by a firework display high in the Bradley Stoke sky.

Andy said:

“We’re always trying to think of ways to make the start of the Christmas season a fun, family time to bring the whole community together, so we’re delighted to have a whole evening of entertainment planned.”

More: Christmas Craft Fayre on 24th/25th November »

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Summer set to return to Willow Brook Centre

Posted on Thursday 1st November 2018 at 4:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of beach and flying umbrellas in the town square.

Beach lovers will be delighted with the news that Bradley Stoke will welcome back sand, smiles and deckchairs next summer.

Whilst the Willow Brook Centre can’t promise the return of the ‘summer of sunshine’, it will be reinstating its very own beach in the summer of 2019.

Thousands of visitors to the shopping centre relaxed, played and enjoyed the artificial beach that took pride of place in the town square.

Centre manager Andy Wynn said:

“We shipped in around 38 tonnes of sand, as well as dozens of deckchairs and a giant parasol to keep the little ones cool in the scorching weather.”

“It was a huge success and a real focal point for visitors who would stop and spend time in the town square. It was so popular that we knew we’d have to bring it back next summer.”

Hundreds of photos of the beach, and the dozens of suspended umbrellas that hung overhead, were posted online.

More than 1,000 people entered various competitions to win prizes at the Willow Brook Centre, by including the popular hashtag #summeratwillowbrook on social media posts.

Andy added:

“We wanted to encourage people to share their summer of fun with us and a photo competition was a great way to get everyone doing that.”

During the nine weeks of its summer promotion, the Willow Brook Centre saw visitors increase by seven percent, which is impressive as the number of people paying a visit rarely fluctuates to that extent.

Of course, the star of the summer was the Willow Brook Centre’s very own Swallows and Amazons themed Gromit sculpture, which took pride of place helping to raise money for charity.

It was the first time the centre had been involved in the award-winning arts trails from Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity which supports sick children, babies and their families.

More than £1,000 was raised in donations and sales for the appeal during Gromit’s stay at Willow Brook.

More: Centre also worked on Wallace and Gromit project with schools »

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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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