Plans for Lyde Green local centre facilities are approved despite parking concerns

Plans for a restaurant, micropub and three shops on a plot of land opposite the Sainsbury’s Local store in Lyde Green have been approved, despite concerns about parking.

On Thursday South Gloucestershire Council’s strategic sites delivery committee considered the planning application for land on the corner of Thistle Close and Willowherb Road which had originally been earmarked for a health centre.

However, that never transpired and instead funding was allocated to Emersons Green Medical Centre for improved facilities to help cope with the influx of patients from the expanding estate on the other side of the A4174 Ring Road.

The plot of land is the last site to be developed at the local centre where there is already a community centre, primary school, nursery and the Sainsbury’s Local. Vehicle access to the site will be via Thistle Close and there will be pedestrian and cycle access from Willowherb Road. Fourteen parking spaces will be provided.

The pub and restaurant will be set back from Willowherb Road behind outdoor customer seating areas.

Three retail units will face Thistle Close. Layout had been amended to respect people living nearby and to preserve the ancient hedgerow on Howsmoor Lane that borders the site.

The ancient hedgerow will be protected

The council does not have minimum or maximum standards for parking for commercial uses and each case is assessed on its merits. The report to the committee acknowledged that nuisance as a result of inconsiderate parking could not be controlled.

Although there has been support locally for the new facilities some residents have flagged up that the convenience store already results in bad parking and rowdy behaviour, and the site was meant to be a surgery or health centre, not a pub.

The report to the committee noted: “The masterplan originally identified the site as a potential location for a health centre but due to changes to the NHS’s own delivery plans, they no longer require the site.”

Cllr June Bamford was one of the committee members concerned that parking was not adequate although she voted for it. She noted that yellow lines had just gone down in Thistle Close but said that would only push the problem elsewhere.

Planning committee chair Cllr Colin Hunt, whose ward includes Lyde Green, said: “I am between a rock and a hard place because I really, really want to see the facilities supplied at Lyde Green. It desperately needs it and the residents desperately want it.”

He said he would vote for it but the problems of parking and deliveries had not been adequately addressed.

Seven councillors voted for it and two abstained.