Shropshire Star

Warehouse plan approved despite objections

Plans for a warehouse which has already been built in a village have been heavily criticised by a community council.

The Montgomery Waters spring water bottling factory in Churchstoke. Source: Google Streetview.

Despite objections from Churchstoke Community Council and Powys County Council's own highways officers, county planners have approved the application for a 750 square metre storage building, from Montgomery Natural Spring Water at Crosslikey in Churchstoke.

The application was lodged a year ago and the company said in documents submitted with the scheme that the building had been built a few months earlier in April 2022.

Churchstoke council criticised the scheme and objected to it at a meeting last year.

It said: “There appears to be piecemeal developments at the site through a build-first permission-later approach.

“The building is thought to be on the site of a pond and watercourse, and it is the council’s view that and adverse visual impact (will be) exacerbated by this development.”

The community council added that it would “wish to draw attention” of Powys planners to comments made by highways authority officers who asked for more information on the proposal and associated vehicle movements.

Powys Highways Authority said: “We note the applicant has not submitted any detail of the operational area and non-operational parking area.

“For premises up to a maximum of 235 square metres gross floor space, an increase of 20 per cent will be permitted without the need for additional parking.

“This allowance can only be made once, and any parking displaced must be relocated.”

They advised the applicant to submit revised drawings which show the location and number of parking bays as well and electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

Planning officer Luke Woosnam said: “Powys Highways Authority have been consulted and have objected to the retrospective development.”

Mr Woosnam went on to rebut the objection and said: “The land used for this building was a former pond and was not an operational area.

“Given that the building is simply for storage of bottled water and materials for the adjacent bottling plant, it is not considered that this is an extension of the manufacturing area.”

Due to this he believed that extra parking areas for lorries and EV charging points would not be needed.

Mr Woosnam said that a condition would be attached to the planning permission that the building would be restricted to “storage purposes only.”

He added that the applicant would be restoring a dried up pond to the south of the complex and planting trees to the east of the building and that this is seen a biodiversity “net gain.”

Mr Woosnam said: “It is therefore considered that the proposed development fundamentally complies with relevant planning policy.”

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