Officers at South Glos Council (SGC) have recommended approval of a planning application for a new mixed-use development on vacant land to the rear of Sainsbury’s in Stoke Gifford.
The application, from property developers Baylis Estates Ltd, joint owners of The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, is for a supermarket, a hotel & restaurant, a drive-through coffee shop and a fourth ‘multi-use’ building.
The first three elements of the scheme are said to be pre-let to Aldi, Premier Inn and Costa respectively. The multi-use building does not currently have any pre-lettings and would most likely be constructed in a later phase, with its footprint initially being occupied by an interim ‘pocket park’.
Plans submitted in April 2020 saw SGC’s planning policy department raise “significant concerns” over the type of retail space being proposed and whether “efficient use” was being made of the site. Concerns were also raised over the number of mature trees that would be felled around the perimeter of the site and the “particularly bleak” appearance of the proposed 265-space car park.
Stoke Gifford Parish Council objected on the grounds that the proposed vehicular access (off the access road into Sainsbury’s) would exacerbate congestion, also mentioning the loss of trees and number of parking bays.
Revised plans submitted in February 2021 went some way to addressing the concerns raised, by retaining more of the mature trees, reducing the number of parking bays, increasing the number of trees within the car park and adding interest to the elevations of the hotel.
In the light of newly submitted technical notes, SGC officers say they accept that traffic flows associated with the site “will not have a significantly detrimental impact upon the local highway network” and “will not materially increase congestion”.
Officers also say they accept a retail consultant’s findings that the proposed Aldi store “would not have a significant adverse impact on any other identified [town/district] centre”. They also acknowledge that a council policy requiring more ‘comparison shopping’ (for more expensive goods bought less frequently) to be provided is out of date, due to the growth in internet shopping.
In a report published on 16th April, the SGC case officer concludes that on balance, the proposals when taken as a whole, would “constitute sustainable development having regard to the National Planning Policy Framework” and recommends that permission be granted.
This article originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Planning consent granted
UPDATE added 22nd May 2021.
In the absence of any ‘call in’ of the application by council members, planning consent was duly granted under delegated powers on 23rd April 2021.