Plans go in for Aldi, Premier Inn and Costa drive-through at Fox Den Road

Aerial view of site (artist's impression).
Aerial view of the site (artist’s impression) looking south, with the Premier Inn and multi-use building in the foreground. The rear of the existing Sainsbury’s store can be seen in the far background.

A new mixed-use development featuring an Aldi supermarket, a Costa drive-through, a Premier Inn hotel and a Beefeater restaurant could be built in Stoke Gifford.

A planning application for the proposed development, on vacant land to the rear of Sainsbury’s in Fox Den Road, has recently been submitted to South Gloucestershire Council by Baylis Estates Limited.

The move comes six months after a pre-application public consultation exercise that involved neighbouring residents and local councillors.

Although the outline plans revealed last year included a gym, this has been removed from the submitted planning application and substituted with a ‘multi-use’ building. The applicant says this would “allow a range of different complementary uses to come forward in the future if the market allows”.

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The application leaves open the possibility that construction of the multi-use building could be delayed until a second phase. Should this be the case, its footprint would initially be occupied by a temporary ‘pocket park’.

Site location and access

The development site lies between Great Stoke Way (the dual carriageway leading to Abbey Wood Roundabout) and Fox Den Road (the road providing access to Sainsbury’s, The Range, Lidl, Bargain Buys and DW Fitness).

Site plan of the proposed development.
Site plan of the proposed development, showing (clockwise from left), outlines of the Aldi store, the multi-use building, the Beefeater restaurant, the Premier Inn hotel (attached to the former) and the Costa drive-through.

Vehicles would enter and leave the site via a single access point off Fox Den Road, close to the Sainsbury’s delivery yard.

Four pedestrian access points would be created, one off Great Stoke Way, two off Fox Den Road and a fourth off the footpath behind Sainsbury’s, which the applicant says would “completely open up the site and improve connectivity in the immediate area as the land is a block on movement currently”.

The Premier Inn hotel and Beefeater restaurant would be located in the north-east of the site, close to the large roundabout near the Aviva Centre, while the Costa drive-through would back onto Fox Den Road. The Aldi supermarket and multi-use building would both be on the north-west edge of the site, backing onto Great Stoke Way.

A 265-space car park would occupy the centre of the site and 60 cycle spaces would be provided.

View of the proposed Aldi store (artist's impression).
View of the proposed Aldi store (artist’s impression), which will face into the car park and back onto Great Stoke Way.

The proposed opening hours are given as:

  • Premier Inn – 24 hours seven days a week. Deliveries unrestricted.
  • Beefeater – 6.30am to midnight hours seven days a week.
  • Costa – 5am to 11pm seven days a week. Deliveries unrestricted
  • Aldi – 8am to 10pm Mon to Sat and 10am to 4pm Sun

A planning statement submitted as part of the application claims that the development could be expected to create a total of 125 new jobs (full- and part-time).

Justifying the inclusion of a Premier Inn hotel, the applicant states that the brand’s nearby sites at Emersons Green and Filton often experience full capacity on mid-week nights and cannot accommodate this demand.

Although the council’s long-term local plan calls for a significant element of ‘comparison shopping’ (for more expensive goods bought less frequently) to be provided within the district centre, the applicant asserts that this requirement is “out of date, does not reflect the changing retail market, and is not achievable in this location”.

Public consultation on the proposals has been open on the South Gloucestershire Council website (under reference P20/05916/F) since 9th April 2020.

View of Premier Inn hotel and Beefeater restaurant (artist's impression).
View of Premier Inn hotel and Beefeater restaurant (artist’s impression), with steps and ramp coming up from Great Stoke Way.

The feedback so far

Stoke Gifford Parish Council has objected to the application with reference to the location of vehicular access, expressing concerns that it will exacerbate congestion. It has requested that consideration be given to an access directly off the mini-roundabout near to The Range.

The parish council and a number of other respondents, including South Gloucestershire Council’s tree officer, have expressed concern over the proposal to remove all the existing trees that are growing around the edges of the site. The tree officer says:

“The scheme should incorporate the higher quality existing trees and then enhance with new planting, not remove everything and expect that [fewer] replanted trees can mitigate for their loss.

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South Gloucestershire Council’s planning policy department has also raised significant concerns over the type of retail space being proposed and has questioned whether the scheme would make efficient use of the land. Its response concludes:

“The proposed development would not be in accordance with local or national planning policies, in that there is no assessment of the impact that the convenience units will have on the wider retailing community (through an impact assessment). Furthermore, given the location of the site, the design, layout, levels of parking and mixture of uses are not considered to currently demonstrate a proposal which is making the most efficient use of land, in line with the National Planning Policy Framework.”

View of multi-use building and plaza (artist's impression).
View of multi-use building and plaza (artist’s impression).

View hi-res versions of the above images at https://bit.ly/3bQFafr (Dropbox)

More information and related links: Retail Development at Fox Den Road (The Journal)

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