Inspector overturns Parkway Tavern new access refusal

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

Editor’s note: This article, first published in our March/April magazine, is an extended version of an earlier website article that was published on 23rd February 2022 (the day the planning inspector’s report was released).

A new vehicular access point directly off Hatchet Road could soon be created into the site of the former Co-operative food store near Parkway Station after a planning inspector allowed an appeal against a council committee’s decision to refuse permission.

In refusing the application (in February 2021), councillors on South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Management Committee went against the advice of the council’s officers, who had recommended approval.

Councillors claimed the proposal would result in a “severe highway impact” and expressed concerns relating to “visibility, traffic flows and pedestrian safety”. They also said it might lead to motorists using the site’s car park as a short cut between Hatchet Lane and Hatchet Road.

Plan showing new access.
Proposed new access into the Parkway Tavern site, Stoke Gifford.

The applicant, Danolly Limited, submitted an appeal against the decision in June 2021, saying that the grounds for refusal were “not justified with any evidence”.

Rather than employing an external consultancy to defend its decision, the council relied on “additional statements” provided by the three Stoke Gifford ward councillors.

In a three-page appeal decision published on 23rd February 2022, government-appointed planning inspector Tamsin Law rejected all the council’s grounds for refusal and grants permission.

On the question of highway impact, the inspector accepts traffic flow modelling submitted by the applicant that shows the new junction would operate at 83 percent capacity, “therefore retaining a reserve capacity”.

The proposals include ‘yellow box’ hatching on the southbound lane of Hatchet Road, across the mouth of the new junction. This hatching is intended to prevent vehicles from obstructing the right turn into the site by stopping across the junction mouth. Responding to concerns that this box junction would impact the free flow of southbound traffic along Hatchet Road, the inspector notes that it would reduce the queuing capacity by 2-3 cars, but concludes that “given the overall length of the road and the distance to the next junction to the north, the reduction in queuing capacity would only have a minimal effect on traffic flow”.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care.

Responding to concerns raised about visibility splays for vehicles leaving the Parkway Tavern site via the new junction, with reference to drawings submitted by the applicant, the inspector concludes that these will not be impacted upon by buses stopped at the nearby bus stop.

Concerns over pedestrians waiting to cross at the pedestrian crossing 30m south of the junction impacting visibility are similarly dismissed, as is the suggestion that drivers of vehicles leaving the Parkway Tavern site might not be able to see the lights at the crossing.

Regarding the provision of a further obstacle for children travelling to and from local schools, the inspector says: “Any vehicle entering or leaving via the new access would be travelling at low speeds allowing for pedestrians crossing the access to be seen. Additionally, the proposed access will be finished with a dropped kerb and tactile paving to facilitate pedestrians crossing the access.”

Proposed measures to reduce the possibility of vehicles using the site’s car park as a short cut are acknowledged in the report, but the associated safety risks for pedestrians are not considered.

The inspector concludes that the proposal “would not have an unacceptable effect on highway and road safety or create or contribute to severe congestion”.


In a separate report she finds that, in refusing the application, the council demonstrated “unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense”, and awards full costs.

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This article originally appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 25). 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.

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