Objections lodged to £8.6m Shrewsbury hotel and restaurant plans
Objections have been lodged against plans for an 80-bed Premier Inn hotel, Miller & Carter steakhouse and Costa drive-through on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.
The proposals for a commercial development near Battlefield Roundabout, which were submitted to Shropshire Council last month, have sparked anger among some nearby residents who say wildlife habitats would be destroyed and traffic problems exacerbated if planning permission is granted.
Councillor Dean Carroll, who represents the Battlefield division, has also criticised the scheme which he says does not conform with Shropshire Council’s development plans for the area.
Councillor Carroll said the site, which is allocated as employment land, is intended for business use under planning classification ‘B’. Despite this, he said, the developer Maximus Aequus was proposing only one ‘B’ class building – a block of trade counter stores – alongside two food and drink establishments and a large hotel.
“The inclusion of a single class B1/8 building is nothing but a fig leaf to cover the fact that this is primarily a leisure development which is not consistent with the Local Plan objectives of protecting employment land,” said Councillor Carroll.
He said the proposed hotel would generate much more traffic than the type of business intended for the site would.
Councillor Carroll added: “There is no reference in the applicant’s transport assessment to what the difference in generated vehicle movements would be between the envisioned class B uses of the site and the proposed application.
“What information the applicant’s transport assessment does provide shows that even at their own estimates this application would increase peak time traffic by between seven and eight per cent on Battlefield Road, an already congested route into Shrewsbury.
“Whilst any development would increase traffic movements, the inclusion of an 80 bedroom hotel, which the applicant claims to expect to have an average occupancy of 1.2 people per room, as well as a restaurant and a coffee shop, would obviously generate far more vehicle movements than a straight employment site.
“Contrary to the applicant’s transport assessment I contend that the assessment’s own finding show the application would in fact have a materially adverse impact on the operation of the adjacent highways network.”
Councillor Carroll has requested the application be considered by a planning committee rather than be delegated to officers.
If approved, the developer says the scheme will bring up to 97 full time equivalent jobs and boost Shrewsbury’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The development would be built on grassland on the south of the roundabout, between the A49 and Battlefield Road, and will be accessed from Battlefield Road.
There have so far been 12 objections from members of the public, while Shrewsbury Town Council has remained neutral despite raising concerns over the removal of a hedgerow and asking for the design of the buildings to be improved.
Highways England and Shropshire Council’s trees team have offered no objection to the application.
A heritage impact assessment in respect of the registered battlefield to the north west of the site has concluded the scheme will have a “negligible” impact on the heritage asset. The battlefield was the location of the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403.
The authority’s economic growth service has supported the proposal, saying it “has a number of economic benefits in terms of job creation and support for the visitor economy in Shrewsbury”.