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Confusion over restaurant green light

Created on 07/02/2020 @ 12:18
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Confusion has been cleared up following an application for a restaurant on the Buttington roundabout, which was thought to be for a McDonald’s.

Powys County Council’s (PCC) planning committee eventually passed an outline planning application for a restaurant with vehicle access and planning area, but only after a vote to refuse the application had failed.

But it turns out the application is not for McDonald’s as was previously reported, with that separate application on the other side of the road still going through the planning process.

It could open the door for potentially a second fast food brand to come in, or an independently-run café on the busy roundabout.

The approved fast food outlet earmarked for land near the Livestock Market would provide full time work for 12 people.

Cllr Francesca Jump (Liberal Democrat – Welshpool Gungrog) said: “This is in my ward, this is a very busy access and there are five accesses on and off this roundabout.

“In the summer when the holidaymakers come down there is often a real tail back on the roundabout from Shrewsbury. My biggest concern is getting in and out of this development which you say is not up for discussion at the moment?”

Principal planning officer, Tamsin Law, told the committee that those issues would be looked at in more detail when a reserved matter planning application would be discussed. She believed the principle of safe access and exiting the site could be managed.

Cllr David Selby said: “My point is on the development plan, I’m uncomfortable that a unit that is designed to attract road traffic is built in a location like that. It will try and get business from the town centre. The only way people will get there is by car, which is completely contrary to what we’re trying to do with our towns in Powys.

“We have the power to say no to this as it’s outside our development plan, we don’t want to encourage this type of unit plonked on a roundabout. That place is entirely wrong for that type of development.”

Cllr Selby moved to reject the application.

But planning development manager, Peter Morris, argued that the application, while being a departure, complied with the legislation.

He explained: “It was brought to committee because it was outside the development boundary, the retail policies support Welshpool as an area and in my mind support this.”

He added that the development was not big enough to merit asking the developers, Delves & Co – which is the company behind Tuffin’s supermarkets - to make an assessment of what impact the restaurant would have on Welshpool Town Centre.

But several other councillors thought that the proposal was exactly what’s needed around Welshpool bypass.

Cllr Gareth Jones, (Independent – Llanfair Caereinion), added: “I totally support this, it’s on a busy road with people from the Midlands heading to the coast, these people are looking for somewhere to stop to grab a snack, let’s get some employment in our county.”

The vote to reject the plans was held first and was lost by six votes to 10. The vote to approve the plans was then won by 10 votes to six.

Meanwhile, it turns out that McDonald’s has submitted a planning application on the other side of the Buttington roundabout.

They want to build a restaurant and drive through facility at land next to Unit 11 of Buttington Cross Enterprise Park.

In its submission McDonald’s claim that it would create the equivalent of 50 full time jobs there.

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