LATEST – Permission refused. Click for details
It is likely that the proposal to build a Costa Coffee establishment in the car park of Somerford Beefeater and Premier Inn will be approved. All the documents are here.
It is expected to be open from 5.30am-10.30pm every day, including Sunday. 23 car parking spaces will be lost, and obviously it would increase traffic near to the already congested Meteor Centre.
There were 18 formal objections (use the link above to see them all), but here is one: My reasons for objecting are the extra volume of traffic and the extra pollution it will bring to an already struggling Somerford Road. This road is already at a standstill with the current congestion from the Meteor Shopping Park, Somerford Business Park, Airfield Industrial Park, McDonalds, Lidi and Local residents. To add another premises will only make the awful traffic even worse and would increase pollution from the extra traffic. The entrance to this proposed drive-through is too close to the already dangerous junctions of the Meteor Shopping Park, Somerford Business Park (Wilverley Road) and Edward Road. Accidents waiting to happen for motorists or cyclists.’
However, planning officer Sophie Mawdsley said that there was no reason to refuse: ‘Having assessed the material considerations and the economic, social and environmental factors, it can be seen that the factors are either neutral or positive.’
Click the image below to get a larger version. This is also publicly available on the planning page (link above).
Reasons for Refusal
The headline in The Echo on 18th February reads ‘”Eyesore” plans for Costa Coffee in Christchurch car park are rejected.’ The article continues by describing the objections of Cllr David Jones, Denise Jones and Peter Hall. Though issues with traffic had been raised by several objectors, it was not possible to refuse it on those grounds as a full report had been produced by highways. Cllr Vicki Hallam supported the project.
Cllr Denise Jones said that, ‘It is not a fitting accompaniment to the Somerford, which had been built to a specific design at that point in time.’ Judge for yourself from the pictures below, of the area of the car park where it would have stood.
Finally, here is a section of the plan showing both the location and the traffic routing, in through the main entrance and then turn right. Speaking personally, I think it would have been quite busy,