Posted: Fri 28th Aug 2020

Calls for councillors to reject plans new A55 drive thru plans near Holywell because of impact on countryside

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Aug 28th, 2020

Calls have been made for councillors to reject plans to build a new drive thru KFC and Starbucks at the side of the A55 in Flintshire because of the impact on the nearby countryside.

An application to develop a piece of land next to an existing branch of McDonald’s at the Singing Kettle services in Lloc, near Holywell is due to be considered next week.

Franchise firm Gastronomy Foods, which is behind the scheme, said it would result in 40 people being employed at the restaurant with 20 in the coffee shop, as well as catering for holidaymakers who use the busy dual carriageway.

The proposals have been backed for approval by a senior Flintshire Council officer ahead of a meeting of the local authority’s planning committee.

However, Whitford councillor Chris Dolphin said it would harm the surrounding countryside and potentially lead to more collisions on the roads around the site.

In a statement submitted the members, he said: “I strongly object to this planning application. The Singing Kettle site was just a public house and is now a site massively larger in area.

“This facility, which is at its maximum output, already provides for the needs of the area and tourists.

“Lloc is not classified as a settlement, this site would be in open countryside immediately adjacent to Pen y Gelli, a woodland which is much loved.

“The proven record of accidents, reports to county council including highway safety site visits, Whitford Community Council meetings and reports, plus peoples own accounts of near misses testify to the dangers on and near this site.”

He added: “The woodland of Pen y Gelli is a delight in the countryside – an oasis aways from neon advertising, and a plastic society.

“This is a woodland already affected, but building as close as possible to this green space is abhorrent.”

Chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said in his report to the committee that the impact on the surrounding area had been considered, but concluded the scheme would not cause significant harm.

He added that a traffic regulation order would be put in place to stop people parking on surrounding streets.

He said: “The key users are passers by using the A55. As such, the policy team has confirmed that the expansion of this facility will not harm the viability of the nearby settlements and a sequential test of alternate sites is not required.

“Rather, expansion of an existing site is more appropriate than opening a new location.

“These matters have been discussed in detail with the highways officer who has undertaken a thorough review of the submitted information and raised concerns, particularly in relation to the chosen peak and appropriate visibility splays.

“As a consequence the initial submission was supplemented with additional information.

“Overall, it is considered that all traffic and highway safety matters have been adequately addressed.”

The plans will be considered by councillors at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, September 2.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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