Officers recommend approval of proposed new access into Parkway Tavern site

Photo of the former Co-operative food store, viewed from Hatchet Road.
The former Co-operative food store on Hatchet Road.

Officers at South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) have recommended approval of a planning application for the creation of a new vehicular access point directly off Hatchet Road into the site of the former Co-operative food store near Parkway Station.

The recommendation could, however, still be overturned by a council committee after one of the Stoke Gifford ward councillors ‘called in’ the application.

The applicant, Danolly Limited, withdrew a previous application for a similar scheme in July 2020 after South Gloucestershire Council’s transportation development control department raised an objection grounded on five key concerns (see below).

Stoke Gifford Parish Council and 48 members of the public also raised objections.

New application

A revised planning application was submitted on 27th October 2020, accompanied by a new technical report in which the applicant responds to concerns previously raised by the council’s transport officers (listed 1 to 5 below).

The report repeats a claim made in the first application that a “lack of direct vehicular access from Hatchet Road” was the primary reason for the Co-op choosing not to extend its lease in January 2020. It also claims that delivery of direct vehicular access from Hatchet Road is “imperative to facilitate the ongoing occupation of the site for retail uses”.

Plan of proposed new access.
Proposed new access into the Parkway Tavern site.

1. Impact on congestion and road safety

Council officers said they considered that queuing traffic on Hatchet Road might restrict drivers from being able to make right turn manoeuvres into and out of the site, “leading to driver frustration and potential vehicle collisions from drivers attempting to force turning movements”.

The applicant’s suggestion of using ‘keep clear’ markings was rejected as this would “potentially reduce the queuing capacity on Hatchet Road”.

In response, the applicant’s latest report states:

“The proposed site access includes hatching across the southbound lane of Hatchet Road, across the mouth of the junction. This hatching would prevent vehicles from obstructing the right turn into the site by stopping across the junction mouth.”

“The provision of this hatching, along with traffic modelling results* which show a negligible impact to journey times on Hatchet Road, address Issue 1.”

The applicant claims that an accompanying traffic modelling report demonstrates that “the delay to northbound vehicles [on Hatchet Road] would be minimal, and the loss of queuing capacity on the southbound lane would be inconsequential”.

2. Vehicles needing to make a sharp turn on entry

Council officers pointed out that vehicles entering the site from Hatchet Road would have to carry out a sharp turn left or right depending on the direction of travel, adding that the area within the site where the new junction meets the internal access road is “quite tight for large vehicles”.

The applicant stated that the new access would not be used by service / delivery vehicles, which would continue to use Hatchet Lane and North Road. However, officers pointed to the absence of any information stating how this would be controlled.

In response, the applicant’s latest report states:

“The proposed access junction would be for customers only with the delivery arrangements remaining as existing, with entry from Hatchet Lane and exit to North Road. The new access would be signposted appropriately with a ‘NO DELIVERIES’ sign as already exists at the North Road access. Provision of a ‘NO DELIVERIES’ sign at the new site access is as discussed with SGC following the previously withdrawn application. It is therefore considered that the provision of this sign addresses Issue 2.”

3. Capacity of the new junction

Council officers pointed to a lack of evidence to prove that two vehicles could pass /manoeuvre through the new junction and through the internal access road. Any difficulties encountered “would ultimately result in ‘severe’ impact on free and safe movements of traffic on Hatchet Road”.

In response, the applicant’s latest report states:

“The proposed site access has been tracked to demonstrate that two transit vans can pass each other while entering and exiting the site, as discussed with SGC following the previously withdrawn application. It is therefore considered that these tracking plans address Issue 3.”

Plan showing vehicle tracking (right in, left out).
Vehicle tracking (right in, left out) for proposed new access at the Parkway Tavern site.

4. Pedestrian safety within the site

Council officers expressed concern that pedestrians would face increased risks when walking along the internal access between the various business units on the site.

In response, the applicant’s latest report states:

“The proposed site access includes a speed bump across its width to slow vehicles entering the site, to protect pedestrians walking through the site car park. The provision of this speed bump is as discussed with SGC following the previously withdrawn application. The speed bump would reduce vehicle speeds entering the site to a safe level and it is therefore considered that provision of this speed bump addresses Issue 4.”

5. Creation of a new short-cut route

Council officers expressed concerned that the proposed new junction, if allowed, would potentially create a short-cut for some drivers travelling between Hatchet Lane and Hatchet Road, with vehicles having to travel through the car park. This would be “unacceptable in road safety terms” and would “significantly increase two-way traffic movements through the new junction with Hatchet Road”.

In response, the applicant’s latest report states:

“The proposed site access arrangements include restricted vehicular access from the Hatchet Lane junction with the provision of a ‘DELIVERIES AND SERVICING VEHICLES ONLY’ sign. This fully addresses the issue of the site being used as a through route between Hatchet Lane and Hatchet Road as set out by Issue 5.”

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care.

Latest case officer report

An unusually brief report on the latest application, compiled by the SGC case officer and published on 8th January 2021, notes that there have been 33 public comments objecting to the application.

The points raised by objectors include:

  • Increased traffic and congestion on Hatchet Road
  • An increased risk of accidents risk to users of the footway and highway
  • That the proposal constitutes “unnecessary development”

The parish council objection reads:

“Stoke Gifford Parish Council object to this planning application on the following grounds as the proposed new vehicular access would create a risk to school children using the pathway, visibility concerns on access and egress off Hatchet Road. Members feel the current access points in situ are sufficient and that any additional access points (so close to the bus stops and near to other access points) will create unacceptable safety hazards and also hold up the buses, MetroBuses and the general flow of traffic.”

The council’s transport department has, however, withdrawn its previous objection, stating:

“We have recently objected to an application seeking to construct a new vehicular access to the Co Op store situated at 43 North Road, Stoke Gifford on highway safety grounds. We note that this proposal has now been resubmitted and understand that the access layout has been subject to a modest rearrangement. Nevertheless, we consider that it remains broadly the same and so we believe that it continues to raise many of the same concerns as its predecessor. We note however, that this layout has now been subject to a formal desktop Road Safety Audit (RSA) which suggests that our concerns were unfounded and that it does not present material safety hazard. Consequently, although we would continue to register some disquiet about these proposals and their juxtaposition to other highways features, we are unable to object on Road Safety Grounds. Hence, we have no further highways and transportation comments about this current application.”

The case officer concludes the report with a recommendation that permission be granted.

Photo of a sign advertising 'lease available'.
Sign advertising ‘lease available’ at the former Parkway Tavern site.

‘Call in’ request

Following publication of a case officer’s recommendation, council members have five working days in which to raise concerns and potentially ‘call in’ an application for determination by a committee of council members. Any ‘call in’ must be agreed by the chair of the relevant planning committee. Should ‘no call’ in be made within this timeframe, a formal decision notice is issued based on the case officer’s recommendation.

In the case in question, a ‘call in’ request was made by Stoke Gifford ward member Cllr Ernie Brown and subsequently approved by Cllr Keith Burchell, chair of the Development Management Committee.

In his justification for ‘calling in’ the application, Cllr Brown wrote:

“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.”

The earliest opportunity for the application to be considered by the Development Management Committee is at a meeting scheduled for 18th February 2021.

All reports and plans relating to the planning application may be viewed on the SGC planning portal (see link below). The pertinent reports (accessed via the Documents tab) are:

  • Access Technical Note (from the applicant)
  • Circulated Report (by the case officer)

The application remains open to public comment, via the ‘Make a comment’ button on the SGC planning portal. Registration may be required if you haven’t previously commented on a planning application.

More information and related links:

Update: Date of committee meeting confirmed

Added 10th February 2021.

It is now confirmed that this planning application will be considered at a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Management Committee on Thursday 18th February 2021, starting at 11am.

Agenda and reports:

The meeting will be a virtual online meeting which will be webcast and recorded. To speak at the meeting, you must register your interest and also submit the comments you intend to make in writing at least 24 hours before the start of the meeting.

Statements should be submitted to Call 01454 864425 for further information.

Webcast link for the meeting:

Update: Planning permission refused

Added 18th February 2021.

Members of South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Management Committee have today REFUSED permission for the proposed new vehicular access.

The applicant has the right to make an appeal within six months of the decision.

A full report will appear in the March issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine and in a later article on this website.

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  1. I would urge residents to leave a reply to the application on the SGlos planning portal, details above. Although recommended for approval by the highways planning officer from a desk top evaluation it is imperative you make your views known.

  2. It is now confirmed that this planning application will be considered at a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Management Committee on Thursday 18th February 2021, starting at 11am.

    For further details, see the update appended to this post.

  3. Members of South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Management Committee have REFUSED permission for the proposed new vehicular access. See update appended to article.

  4. Thank goodness that the Council have refused again the ridiculous plan. When everything gets back to normal and also the traffic Stoke Gifford will once again become gridlocked

  5. Really glad it’s been turned down. At normal times that road is gridlocked last thing you need is cars trying to turn into the car park.

    Is it really that hard to enter the car park either next to the Barbers or down Hatchett I don’t think so.

    And on the Coop I wonder if they would still be open now, if they were open when we hit lockdown

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