New Yate district centre approved - without hotel, pub and most of its shops
PLANS for a local centre to serve nearly 2,500 homes proposed for Yate have been approved - despite a pub, hotel and six out of seven shops vanishing from it.
Barratt Homes’ plans for the centre of the proposed 100-hectare “new neighbourhood” in North Yate were approved by South Gloucestershire Council's strategic sites planning committee.
The centre will include one shop, 48 flats, parking, a green space for residents and a paved area with seating and cycle parking, councillors were told.
Land is also set aside for a health centre and community centre and the developer must make a contribution towards these.
But Yate Town Council was expecting to see a pub, hotel and seven more shops in the centre based on a masterplan for the neighbourhood that gained outline planning permission in 2015.
A 50-bed budget hotel, pub seven small retail units were included in the masterplan.
Town councillor Chris Willmore told committee members: “On the application before you the hotel has gone, the pub has gone and most of the shops have gone.
“So it’s no longer a district centre in what we would all recognise.”
Objection letters from 22 residents included concerns that “amenities promised when we bought are being removed from the plans”.
But a planning officer told the committee that those early plans were “indicative” only, and there was no planning obligation for the developer to provide the pub, hotel and extra shops.
Cllr Willmore said the community centre, which South Gloucestershire Council will design and build, would need to be bigger to accommodate the informal and business meetings that would have otherwise taken place in the pub and hotel.
She asked them to renegotiate with the developer the financial contribution it has already agreed to pay towards the cost of the community centre, to make the it bigger.
Her call was backed by committee member Mike Drew, Liberal Democrat councillor for Yate North, who also sits on the town council and referred the application to the committee, calling it “inadequate to provide the local centre that the new neighbourhood needs”.
An agent for Barratt Homes said the developer had promised to pay £1.89million towards the design and build of the community building in a Section 106 agreement signed in 2015.
The scheme was of the “highest standard” of design and was in “full accordance” with the mandatory requirements of the masterplan and the S106 agreement, he added.
The committee heard 12 of the 48 flats will be affordable and will sit above the store, which was designed to attract a local Sainsbury’s or Co-op.
The rest of the one- and two-bedroom apartments will be in two separate blocks.
Barratt's agent said: “We’ve worked hard with officers to make a number of improvements to the design and appearance of the proposed mix of uses within this scheme, and the final result is a design of the highest standard.
“We hope to move into the delivery of these much-needed new facilities and new homes that will contribute significantly towards the local economy, the council’s housing land supply and the continued objective of creating a great place to live.”
The committee approved the plans by five votes to three on November 26.
By Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Picture: artist's impression from developer shows what the supermarket and flats are expected to look like