BEAR & STAFF. As mentioned in our September 2010 Newsletter, the refurbishment of the Bear & Staff pub last year was carried out without planning permission having been applied for. A retrospective application for the new signage - ref. 11A/0304 - was submitted in March, and this has now been granted EXCEPT that consent for the main pole-mounted sign has been REFUSED on the grounds that "by virtue of its size ... [it is] an over dominant feature in the streetscene". The City Council is still awaiting a retrospective planning application for the repainting and floodlighting of the building.
GATEACRE PARK SHOPS. An application for Full Planning Permission - ref. 11F/0574 - has been submitted by Aldi Stores Ltd. This is similar to the Outline application for which permission was granted in 2009, except that Othello's restaurant is now to be retained. All the other existing shops are to be demolished, and replaced by an Aldi store together with a row of smaller shop units (including one shown on the drawings as a 'Sainsburys Local'). In our comments on the application, we reiterated our view that the plans do not make adequate provision for local residents who wish to do their shopping on foot. We have suggested that a rear entrance should be incorporated in the Sainsburys Local unit - under CCTV surveillance to discourage antisocial behaviour - and that, instead of the proposed bus lay-by on Gateacre Park Drive (which would be used by just 2 buses per hour, not the 19 per hour claimed by the applicant) a series of pedestrian 'refuges' should be provided to make crossing the road simpler and safer. A decision on the application is currently awaited.
WALNUT COTTAGE. A planning application - ref. 11H/0914 - has been submitted to build (on the existing side garden) a large two-storey extension and replacement porch, and (at the rear) a single-storey extension. The Council's deadline for comments on the application is 1st June. The house - No.30 Sandfield Road - was built in the 1850s and we have always regarded it as one of the most attractive cottages in the Gateacre Village Conservation Area. However, it is not a listed building. We have asked the Planning Department to ensure that the bricks used for the extension are a true match; and also to satisfy themselves that the proposed building works will not harm the walnut tree which is such a prominent feature of Sandfield Road.
179 GRANGE LANE. A planning application - ref. 11F/0965 - has been submitted by The Co-operative Funeralcare to install a new shopfront. This shop unit was part of the old Victoria Wine/Threshers off licence, and has stood empty for several months now. Planning permission is not needed for the proposed change of use of the premises.