Waggon & Horses / Bay Leaf restaurant

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Waggon & HorsesApril 2017 A further application has been made but the only apparent difference is the layout of the car park. This application fails to address any of the major concerns raised by the community against previous applications.

October 2016 A new application has been submitted, but it is very similar to that previously rejected. Additional attention has been given to traffic calming and pedestrian crossings. The application is widely considered to be completely unacceptable.

13 January 2016 Application rejected! We await to see if the applicant either abandons the project, submits a better idea, or makes an appeal against the rejection.

23rd September 2015 A public meeting was held on Monday 21st September at Bollington Cross school. The purpose was to inform Bollington Town Councillors regarding the public's opinions regarding the proposal so that BTC could determine its response to the application at its meeting on Tuesday 22nd September.

No one could have been left in any doubt whatsoever that the public are not supportive of the proposed development. Almost all objections centred in one way or another around the traffic problems and the resulting dangers for pedestrians and road users. The Civic Society, while supporting the general tenor of objections, also objected on the grounds of the proposal to demolish the existing heritage building and replace it with one designed to have a passing resemblance.

Something sinister in Bollington? - article in I Love Macc, written by Granville Sellars, proprietor of Brassingtons.
Please note: The Happy Valley web site is not responsible for opinions expressed in other web sites.


Proposed demolition and redevelopment

The owners of the old Waggon & Horses pub, which for ten years has been the Bayleaf Indian restaurant, have submitted a planning application to demolish the entire building and to construct a new building, the ground floor of which would be let to J Sainsbury for use as a small supermarket, euphemistically referred to as a convenience store, the upper floor to be let to the present occupiers as an Indian restaurant.

The new building would be situated a few metres to the right and a few metres further from the kerb than the existing building and provide a two lane access/egress between it and Barrow's butchery next door. There would be a 13 place car park in the triangular space behind the building.

Objections noted at public meeting

Around 60 Bollington residents met at Bollington Cross school and noted their objections to the proposal. The following is a summary of the key points and is not an exhaustive list.

There is huge concern regarding the highway implications of this proposal.

  • A busy car park behind the new building will effectively turn the present three way junction at the bottom of Grimshaw Lane into a four way junction;
  • The main road, Wellington Road/Henshall Road, is on a considerable curve at this point, significantly reducing visibility for all road users;
  • The proposal to provide a parking bay for delivery trucks on the apex of the corner would further seriously obstruct visibility;
  • While an adequate pedestrian path is planned to fit between the delivery vehicle and the store, experience shows that this area will be obstructed by the delivery cages, both those on the way in and empties on the way out;
  • Risks to customers crossing the road;
  • Risks raised by the location of the bus stop immediately opposite the new store;
  • Risks to school children calling at the store then running out and across the road to catch their bus;
  • Heavy articulated vehicles from the BC transport depot up Grimshaw Lane already have great difficulty in turning right from Grimshaw Lane into Henshall Road. They need the full width of the main road to enable them to get round. Any vehicle parked in front of the store but not fully in the unloading bay will result in obstruction and road closure;
  • Experience with the new Co-op store further up Wellington Road, where there is a visible car park of 24 spaces, shows that 20% of car-bourne shoppers park on the roads outside the store. The proposed car park is not visible from the highway and will have far fewer vacant spaces. This will inevitably result in a higher percentage of callers parking on the street outside the store. The area already experiences this inconsiderate parking, and particularly so since the opening next door to the proposed store of a takeaway pizza shop. These problems are only likely to increase if the proposed store is open;
  • With food and general stores on both sides of the street it is inevitable that there will be a significant increase in the number of pedestrians crossing and re-crossing the street at or close to the apex of the corner and the associated junctions;
  • The applicant's assessment of vehicle and pedestrian movements related to the store are not bourne out by experience at the new Co-op store further along Wellington Road - they are likely to prove to be a gross under estimate;

Other concerns include:

  • The availability of a 24/7 ATM cash machine would likely result in noisy callers to the site at all hours of the night (as previously experienced round the corner in Ashbrook Road, resulting in its removal by NatWest bank);
  • Noise to neighbours from chillers on the roof;
  • Noise to the entire neighbourhood for the period 7:00am - midnight every day. The store is planned to be open 7:00am to 22:00pm Monday to Friday with slightly shorter hours on weekends. The restaurant is planned to be open from early evening to midnight with additional lunchtime opening on weekends;
  • The present building was erected in 1907 by the North Staffordshire Railway Company (NSR, or Knotty) to replace a pre-existing and very inadequate building. The new building became the Waggon & Horses Hotel to serve customers of the NSR. It is of a characteristic NSR design, very attractive using well chosen materials. The building is an obvious part of Bollington's heritage building collection, standing in a prominent position and visible from well up Grimshaw Lane;
  • The effect on the existing food shops in the area (Barrows butcher, Heathcotes butcher, Brassingtons bakery and cafe). These businesses have said that they thought that the influx of new shoppers would probably balance any losses of customers to the new store;
  • Wellington Road Garage presently uses parking space behind the present Waggon & Horses building for temporary parking of customer's vehicles. Loss of this facility may compromise the viability of this business.

Applicant's comments to objections

The applicant attended the meeting at Bollington Cross school and listened to all the objections. He was provided with an opportunity to respond and made the following points:

  • The present building is in very poor condition with subsidence on one side resulting in cracking and movement. The top floor is unused due to its poor condition;
  • No planning permission is required to establish a store on this location because the present premises already has A3 permission - the store would require only A1. The application is for permission to demolish the existing building, construct the proposed building in the adjusted position, and provide the proposed road and car park;
  • The design of the new building has been influenced by their desire to maintain the look of the existing building, and has been enhanced by changes requested by the CEC Conservation Officer;
  • They are very well aware of the potential traffic problems and have taken these into consideration when setting the location of the building on the site - including setting back from the road, closure of the north access, widening the south access to two lanes;
  • He announced that they had agreed to set the building back a further 0.5m at the request of CEC planners.

Alternative solutions

The CEC Northern Area Planning Committee will consider the application as submitted and alternatives cannot be considered. However, the committee can provide conditions to a permission to develop. This leads one to consider what conditions might be put forward.

  • Limited hours of operation. Unlikely due to thousands of similar stores providing precedent;
  • Limited delivery hours. Similar to old Co-op;
  • Limited number of deliveries per day. Similar to old Co-op;
  • No ATM. A key facility likely to be regarded as an essential feature;
  • Require a better, safer, highways solution. Traffic lights are not practical, traffic calming is a possibility;

Further alternative have been suggested but these could not be considered by the Planning committee under the present application.

A more extreme alternative has been proposed by Tim Boddington, the webmaster. The most significant problem appears to be the entry to / exit from the car park. Many of the highway problems result from this. So why not ban customer parking behind the store, but retain it as is for use by staff, Wellington Road Garage and Barrows. Further, don't allow unloading of store deliveries at the front but send them to the back. There should just be room to turn the delivery vehicles at the back. The effect of this idea would be to retain use of the car park to much the same as it is with an increase in vehicle movement only to the extent of deliveries. If the proposed customer car park were developed, in practice there would be relatively few spaces for customers but many fruitless entry and exit movements by customers hoping for a space. All this useless traffic movement, and the associated risk at the junction, would be eliminated.

A word on traffic calming - I have suggested that a road design similar to Prestbury village would significantly reduce the risks, or, going further, a shared space solution similar to Poynton may be even better. The area covered by these could be from Ashbrook Drive to Albert Road and 50m up Grimshaw Lane.

If you have any comment or ideas of your own, please post them on the relevant Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/bollingtonsainsburysproposal/?fref=tsExternal link (Please note that this is a closed group forum, if you are not already a member you will need to join to be able to comment.)