New plans submitted for car park extension at Brook Way Activity Centre site

Indicative plan of proposed changes at Brook Way Activity Centre.

Ambitions to provide additional parking spaces at the combined doctors’ surgery and community centre site at Brook Way have taken a step forward with the submission of a revised planning application for the redevelopment of the dilapidated hard court area.

The move comes four months after Bradley Stoke Town Council withdrew its previous planning application because officers at South Gloucestershire Council had indicated they were minded to refuse consent due to concerns over the “unnecessary” removal of ten trees and the potential for root damage to a number of others.

The revised scheme proposes the provision of an additional 20 parking bays within part of the area currently occupied by the hard court. The remainder of the court area will have its hard surface removed and be converted to green open space.

In contrast to the previous plans, the new parking bays will use the existing hard surface “as is”, i.e. no deep excavation will be carried out to bring the finished level of the bays down to the level of the existing car park. Consequently, the finished scheme will have a “graduated incline” between the two areas.

Significantly, no new parking bays will be created on the doctors’ surgery side of the car park. Previously, eight of the twenty new spaces were to be created on this side, with the surgery agreeing to contribute £4,000 to the cost.

The new scheme does not require any trees to be totally removed, although three trees that currently stand along the boundary of the hard court with the existing car park will be “relocated” into the newly created green open space.

The future of the hard court area has been under discussion (on and off) for more than four years. In September 2013, the then mayor Cllr Brian Hopkinson proposed the construction of two new buildings on the site, one for a charity and the other for youth provision. A subsequent public consultation showed that 59 percent of respondents wanted to see additional parking facilities provided at the site, with just 20 percent supporting the need for a “new building” of some form.

The vast majority of people visiting the site are believed to be patients of the surgery rather than customers of the community centre, which the council admits struggles to attract bookings during the daytime, although it is extensively used by the Scouts on weekday evenings.

The council currently operates a policy of chaining off its side of the car park on occasions when there is a daytime function at the community centre, which can lead to frustration when surgery visitors are unable to find a parking space. The fact that all the additional parking spaces will now be created on the community centre side is likely to raise concerns that the core issue of adequate parking provision for surgery visitors (and staff) is not being addressed.

A source at the council told the Journal:

“We currently only chain off our side of the car park if we have a hirer on site who requires use of the car park (to ensure they have parking bays available). If required (with the new car parking spaces in situ), this system will continue, although it is hoped that with the 20 extra car parking spaces, the chain may not be required.”

• The planning application reference is PT18/0207/F (click to view online)

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 8 & 9). 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.

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