A planning application has been submitted for the creation of a new access point directly off Hatchet Road into the site of the former Co-operative food store near Parkway Station.
The Co-op store ceased trading in January 2020 and the premises have remained unused since then. A statement released to the Journal at the time blamed the closure on “challenging market conditions and a significant decline in performance”.
Still trading at the site are the Smart Fish Bar (takeaway), a hairdresser and an estate agents. There are also four residential apartments above the retail units.
Although the former food store and fish bar face onto Hatchet Road, vehicular access into and out of the site is currently via entrance/exit points on North Road and Hatchet Lane.
The applicant, Danolly Limited, claims that the Co-op store’s closure was “in part attributed to
the lack of accessibility of the car park from the road network”, adding that the proposed alteration would “provide a more prominent and easily accessible access to the site”.
A supporting technical document says “it is hoped that the new access will improve the performance of the retail units [at the site]”.
Subject to approval and implementation, vehicles will be able to make left and right turns into and out of the site from Hatchet Road at a point that aligns roughly with the northern end of the former Co-op store’s frontage.
Delivery vehicles would not use the new access, so will continue to enter the site from the existing access point off Hatchet Lane and leave via the access point off North Road.
Three of the existing 50 parking bays at the site would be lost should the proposals be implemented.
In response to a pre-application enquiry by the applicant, a transport officer at South Gloucestershire Council raised concerns about the impact on the flow of traffic on Hatchet Road, saying:
“In relation to the proposed access, I do have concerns in relation to the location of the proposed access and the implications that this will have upon the flow of traffic in the vicinity. During the morning and evening peak hours this area is quite congested. Currently customers access the site off Hatchet Lane via the mini-roundabout onto North Road which provides opportunities and gaps in the traffic to enable this to occur – with this proposal there is the potential for right turning vehicles into the site potentially blocking northbound traffic on Hatchet Road.”
A technical note submitted as part of the application claims to demonstrate that the proposed access arrangement “complies with the relevant design guidance and will not result in a ‘severe’ impact upon the operation or safety of the local highway network”.
Details of the application may be viewed on the South Gloucestershire Council planning portal under reference P20/08482/F.