Costa Coffee drive-thru plans for Gateway to Wales hotel site refused after being branded “insufficient”
Plans to build a Costa Coffee drive-thru on the site of a hotel in Flintshire which was ravaged by fire have been refused.
It follows an assessment of the impact on traffic in the area surrounding the former Gateway to Wales 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.
Community councillors said the Costa drive-thru would be visible from the A494, leading to traffic leaving the dual carriageway to use it.
They added more vehicles were now using the roundabout following the creation of a new Amazon distribution centre nearby.
Ms Jones said the plans also failed to address the flood risk at the site and potential land contamination issues arising from its former use as a petrol station.
She added: “Whilst the principle of development is acceptable, the application before me is insufficient for the reasons explained above, with a number of inadequacies requiring attention.
“It is unfortunate that at this time, a positive recommendation cannot be reached, as the proposed development would result in a visual betterment to a vacant site and facilitate significant benefits of economic growth and employment prospect to the local area.”
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here). Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com