Posted: Wed 6th May 2020

Appeal launched over refusal of plans to turn former Buckley bar and restaurant into apartments

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

An appeal has been launched over the refusal of plans to convert a former bar and restaurant in Buckley into 13 apartments.

Flintshire Council’s planning committee turned down an application to transform the Windmill bar and grill into living accommodation at a meeting in February.

It came as neighbours on Millers Court said the proposed parking area was not big enough and would block access to their homes.

It was also claimed the loss of the restaurant could impact the town’s economy.

Ricky Braitch, who is behind the scheme, has now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to have the decision overturned.

A statement submitted on his behalf by planning consultant Stuart Andrews highlights how previous attempts to keep it running as a business have failed.

In the document, he said: “The use as a restaurant had been operational for many years previously and would have generated a significant amount of unregulated traffic in and around the site.

“Prior to the current owners purchasing the property three restaurant style businesses, from three different tenants, failed within a five year period. None of them stayed open for longer than six months.

“The property was marketed by local agents and was put up for auction in February 2019. It failed to sell and remained vacant for 12 months before being purchased by the current owners. This demonstrates the low level of demand for its commercial use.”

He added: “The proposal makes use of a redundant building in a sustainable location within the town centre without any material harm to the amenity of nearby properties by reason of overlooking or parking and access.

“It complies with both local and national planning policy and guidance and has the benefit of support from the council’s professional officers. It is requested that the appeal be allowed.”

The council’s chief planning officer had recommended the scheme for approval as he said the site was in easy reach of the town centre and would encourage residents to shop locally.

Meanwhile, Cllr Derek Butler, who sits on the authority’s ruling cabinet, also argued it would boost the area’s economy.

However, the dissenting voices included a local resident, who told the committee he believed it would cause problems.

Speaking at the meeting, George Mitchell said: “I am a resident of Millers Court and believe the proposed conversion of the Windmill restaurant will have a detrimental impact on the amenity of my property.

“Parking of vehicles along the road would be impossible as it would block access from all our properties for all vehicles, including emergency vehicles.

“As Buckley is presently meeting with Flintshire County Council to explore the possibility to improve the town, it is sad that yet another commercial business is up for consideration to become yet more flats.

“Any loss of business is a loss forever at the expense of a thriving town.”

At the end of the debate, the application was refused by a narrow margin of nine votes to eight.

The appeal will be decided by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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