Willow Brook Shopping Center in Bradley Stoke has confirmed that work is about to start on the construction of two controversial fast food and drink restaurants, both with drive-thru facilities, which have been granted planning permission on appeal in January 2020.
Permission was granted by a government-appointed planning inspector after the application was twice rejected by committees of councilors from South Gloucestershire Council, in a saga that lasted nearly two years.
An indication that work on the project could soon begin came in early January with the sudden disappearance of the Waves hand-held car wash facility from the northeast corner of the mall’s parking lot, where the two newest of the restore points must be built.
A spokesperson for the center confirmed to the Journal:
“Waves has left the Willow Brook space as part of our preparations to begin construction for Starbucks and McDonald’s, which is expected to begin in early February and take approximately 6 months to complete.”
“We are working on plans that we hope will allow Waves to return later this year.”
The McDonald’s unit will have a floor area of 542 m², spread over two floors, while the Starbucks unit will be on one level with a floor area of 167 m².
The building permit does not include any conditions limiting hours of operation, so the two units could potentially trade 24 hours a day. However, it should be noted that at some point during negotiations, the agent for the claimant said he would be willing to accept a 6am-11pm restriction for Starbucks and 6am-midnight (Sun-Thu) / 6am-1am (Fri & Sat) restriction for McDonald’s, possibly giving an indication of trading hours likely once they are operational.
According to documents submitted as part of the planning application, the Starbucks unit is expected to employ the equivalent of 20 full-time employees, while the McDonalds restaurant is expected to employ more than 65 full-time and part-time employees.
In addition to the two fast food outlets, the approved development includes block permission to add two (non-food) units at the end of the existing commercial terrace, ie beyond the Poundstretcher store. To accommodate this expansion, the public access road in and out of the center will be moved closer to the northern boundary of the site. This second phase will be carried out at a later date, depending on the demand from potential occupants, and will require the filing of a new planning application file “subject to change”.
Note: The plan above shows the proposed layout of the parking lot and access road at the end of Phase 2. For Phase 1, the access road will remain as it is now, except exception of the first right turn which will be widened to allow easy access for delivery vehicles serving the two new catering units.
The implementation of Phase 1 (McDonald’s and Starbucks) will result in a net loss of approximately 80 parking spaces at the mall. No other spaces will be lost if phase 2 is implemented, thanks to a “reconfiguration” of the car park.
Andy Wynn, director of the Willow Brook Center, commented:
“It has been a long road to get to this point, with further delays caused by Covid-19. However, we are all thrilled to see the work finally start and look forward to seeing customers enjoying the two new units in August. »
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