Posts Tagged ‘The Willow Brook Centre’

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

McDonald’s & Starbucks planning application referred to committee

Posted on Tuesday 8th January 2019 at 5:56 pm by SH (Editor)

Willow Brook Centre expansion masterplan (annotated extract).

A planning application for development at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook Centre that would include two new food units anticipated to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks has been referred to a South Gloucestershire Council planning committee for consideration.

The referral has been requested by local ward councillor Sarah Pomfret (Conservative, Bradley Stoke Central & Stoke Lodge), with the support of three other councillors plus the chair of the relevant planning committee, the Development Management Committee (DMC).

The three supporting councillors are:

  • Cllr Roger Avenin (Conservative, Bradley Stoke South)
  • Cllr Keith Cranney (Conservative, Stoke Gifford)
  • Cllr Ken Dando (Conservative, Patchway)

The chair of the DMC is Cllr June Bamford (Conservative, Hanham). Cllrs Avenin and Dando also sit on the nine-member committee.

Under new planning procedures introduced last November, a minimum of three council members is required to refer an application to committee (previously just one was needed).

The reasons for referral are given as:

“Satellite outlet too close to neighbours, original masterplan had all buildings together in a block away from houses. Similar reasons to Domino’s refusal reasons previously (PT10/3271). Noise and light pollution and disturbance at night in a residential area where the streetlights go off at midnight. Car engine idling and revving and exhaust fumes from drive thru. Litter in surrounding streets. Encouraging car traffic to the area not environmentally friendly.”

The news comes just a few days after the planning department’s case officer recommended that the application be approved, subject to conditions.

The next meeting of the DMC is due to be held at the Civic Centre in Kingswood on Thursday 24th January, starting at 3pm.

Image: Masterplan from the planning application (click to enlarge).

More information: Completed member referral form

UPDATE (15th January 2019)

An SGC spokesperson told the Journal: “The application is due to be heard at the 24th January 2019 Development Management Committee. No site visit is planned prior to the meeting.”

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McDonald’s and Starbucks planning application recommended for approval

Posted on Thursday 3rd January 2019 at 7:46 pm by SH (Editor)

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

Officers at South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) have recommended approval of a planning application which would pave the way for McDonald’s and Starbucks outlets to open at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook Centre.

The recommendation has been published in the council’s weekly Circulated Schedule, which informs elected council members of the conclusions of planning officers’ assessments of all non-trivial or controversial applications.

Originally submitted in March 2018, the Willow Brook Centre application also seeks outline permission for two additional units in the retail terrace (extending it beyond the Poundstretcher store) and reconfiguration of the car park.

A total of 143 letters/email of objection were received from local residents in connection with the application. Bradley Stoke Town Council’s planning committee also voted unanimously to object to the application, citing traffic, highways and environmental concerns.

Six letters/email of support were received from local residents.

Concerns over highways and landscaping issues raised by SGC’s own officers have been resolved following negotiations with the applicant, although the environmental protection officer’s recommendation for the opening hours of the McDonald’s and Starbucks units to be restricted has been overruled by the case officer, leaving the way free for them to open for 24 hours a day, should the operators so wish.

The application could still be referred to SGC’s Development Management Committee for consideration, but only if three elected council members request this within the next five working days (i.e. by Thursday 10th January). The three referring councillors must include either the committee chair or one of the other two designated party political spokespersons on the committee.

Should the application be referred to committee, it would most likely be considered at the next scheduled meeting, which will be held at the Civic Centre in Kingswood on Thursday 24th January, starting at 3pm.

More information: Circulated Schedule report (item 3 refers)

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Christmas lights switch-on goes off with a bang

Posted on Tuesday 18th December 2018 at 8:16 pm by SH (Editor)

Fireworks display at the Willow Brook Centre's Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre got the festive season off to a bright start on the evening of Friday 16th November with a programme of entertainment in the town square rounded off by a spectacular fireworks display.

Photo of a fire juggler.

A packed crowd enjoyed performances by Britain’s Got Talent finalist Andrew Bourn, who sang a selection of Christmas songs, and fire jugglers Loz and Marky who wowed the crowds with their daredevil act which included fire eating and firecracker whips.

Children enjoyed fairground rides and a giant inflatable slide set up in the bus stop corner of the square while food and drink stalls did brisk business throughout the two-and-a-half hour programme.

The culmination of the evening was the switching on of the centre’s Christmas lights, which occurred simultaneously with the start of a five-minute fireworks display launched from the roof of the centre.

More photographs from the event, including some great shots taken from a drone circling above the centre, may be viewed on the Willow Brook Centre’s page on Facebook.

Just a few of the comments left on the BSJ Facebook page:

  • “Brilliant, thanks to the Willow Brook and BSR for a fab Christmas lights switch-on”
  • “Kids loved it; brilliant night”
  • “Definitely best one yet! Fireworks were a brilliant addition!”

More photos from the event »

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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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