Consultation period begins on plans to build Costa Coffee drive-thru at former Gateway to Wales hotel site
A consultation period has begun for people to have their say on plans to build a Costa Coffee drive-thru on the site of a former hotel in Flintshire.
Plans for the new development on the site of the Gateway to Wales hotel which, was ravaged by fire, have been resubmitted after they were initially refused.
The latest application follows an assessment of the impact on traffic in the area surrounding the former hotel site in Garden City being described as “insufficient”.
A fire tore through the 40-bedroom hotel, which sits just off the A494, in December 2017, which completely gutted the building.
It stood derelict for more than two years before the site was bought by Manchester-based developers Valedown Developments Ltd in March last year.
Following the hotel’s demolition, proposals were put forward to create four retail units in its place, including a 1,808 square foot Costa Coffee shop.
However, permission for the scheme has been rejected after both Flintshire Council’s highways department and the Welsh Government criticised the development firm’s analysis of the impact on traffic.
In a report, planning officer Katie Jones said: “It is accepted that the proposed re-development is unlikely to have a significant impact on the local highway network, however, the capacity and safe operation of the access to the site have not been considered.
“The potential increase in movements requires greater consideration of the Chester A548 junction capacity from the A494 including a full capacity assessment.
“Any such assessment should make full consideration of the effects of approved development in the area i.e. the Northern Gateway Development, including changes to traffic patterns and operation (partial signalization) of the roundabout.
“The access is in close proximity to the exit from the roundabout and junction visibility is limited (less than 30m).
“Whilst traffic speeds are likely to below the 40mph speed restriction a speed survey will be required to determine approach speeds and adequacy of available splays.”
Sealand Community Council objected to the proposals on the grounds that it would lead to potential road safety problems.
The latest plans submitted to Flintshire council planners include an updated Transport Statement.
The document notes that the ‘residual trip generation’ shows the proposed development is anticipated to generate an additional
59 trips in the AM peak and 122 new trips in the PM peak.
The document states, “a high proportion of these trips will already be on the local highway network.”
It also notes “there is also no evidence to suggest that the proposed development would increase risks of PICs “(personal injury collisions) in the
surrounding area or have a detrimental impact on highway safety.”
The consultation period in which the local Planning Authority seeks comments from various organisations, statutory bodies and the public is open until August 4 2021.
Links can be found here: https://digital.flintshire.gov.uk/FCC_Planning/Home/Details?refno=062863
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