Posted: Wed 2nd Mar 2022

Costa drive-thru plans for Gateway to Wales hotel site placed on hold

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 2nd, 2022

Plans to build a Costa Coffee drive-thru on the site of a hotel in Flintshire which was destroyed by fire have been placed on hold.

It follows concerns being raised that an application to transform the former Gateway to Wales hotel site in Garden City would cause major traffic issues in the area.

Proposals to create a drive-thru coffee shop, convenience store and two food retail outlets just off the A494 were considered by councillors for the second time at a meeting this afternoon (Wednesday, 2 March).

The scheme was resubmitted by developers Valedown Developments Ltd after initially being thrown out by planning committee members in March last year.

The latest plans were recommended for approval by officers from Flintshire Council following the submission of an assessment of the impact on traffic.

However, politicians said there were a number of outstanding problems, with one local councillor describing the build-up of vehicles in the area as “dreadful”.

Sealand representative Christine Jones said: “As far as I’m concerned, not a lot has changed since the previous application that was refused.

“There is no way you can get HGVs going onto that site safely. It is going to be mayhem.

“I’m very concerned for safety because there have been a lot of incidents around that area and since Amazon was built it’s got even worse.

“I live on the road, and I know how dangerous it can be. I just think it’s foolhardy putting four retail units where that hotel used to be.

“I have a retail shop next to me and we have HGVs four times a day. It’s dreadful and it’s awful.”

A fire tore through the Gateway to Wales hotel in December 2017, leaving the building completely gutted.

The 40-bedroom hotel was later knocked down after being bought by the Manchester-based company behind the redevelopment proposals in 2020.

In a report to the committee, Flintshire’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said the access arrangements contained in the latest application for the site were deemed to be “suitable and safe”.

Cllr Chris Bithell, the local authority’s cabinet member for planning, also supported the proposals.

He said: “In the case of Garden City, there is a limited range of shopping and commercial development along the Welsh Road.

“It has to be remembered that you’re going to get the large Northern Gateway development taking place.
“There’s also Deeside Industrial Park close by so there is a demand for this.”

But Whitford councillor Chris Dolphin said the information provided about how the traffic issues would be addressed was insufficient.

He recommended that a decision on the proposals should be deferred until further details are supplied.

He said: “The role of this local authority, as far as I’m concerned is to try and do things right however long it takes.
“I think today we’ve been presented with a report that’s not ready for us to make that final decision.

“I would urge that we defer it and if it takes a month, two months or three months, that’s how long it takes and let’s get it right.”

The motion to defer the application was approved by ten votes to five, which means it will be brought back to the committee at a later date.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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