Popular pub's plan to extend car park to be determined by planning inspector

  Posted: 07.06.21 at 14:30 by Tom Avery  

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A popular country pub has submitted a planning appeal to extend its car park into the countryside which was knocked back by Cheshire East - despite over 100 letters of support from local families.

Applicant Mark Taylor sought planning permission for the creation of a 25-space car park to the rear of the Brownlow Inn, on Brownlow Heath Lane, near Congleton.

The application site comprised a fenced area of approximately 0.1 hectares of agricultural land, which has been sectioned off from a wider agricultural holding by posts and wire fencing, to the rear of the public house and its existing car park.

The application site was within the green belt as designated by the adopted Cheshire East Local Plan.

The public house had a request bus stop for the Crewe to Kidsgrove bus service directly in front on Brownlow Heath Lane, however, the service appears to have been stopped.

The location is therefore car dependent for any customer who does not live locally in the rural area.

The pub is located close to a crossroads where Brownlow Heath Lane, Childs Lane and Wallhill Lane meet.

The road outside the site is de-restricted and is a typical country lane with roadside grass verges. Customers of the public house park on the verges down the road.

Applicant Mr Taylor was concerned about the narrow country lane, which is popular with horse riders, farm vehicles, and walkers, he felt the proposed car park would help "alleviate" parking issues on Brownlow Heath Lane.

Cheshire East received 105 letters of support for the new proposal from families in Brownlow, Astbury, Brereton, Rode Heath, Kidsgrove, Sandbach, Audlem, Somerford, and Nantwich.

Commenting on the application, residents felt that the on-street parking situation at the premises would be "worsened" due to the Congleton Link Road, and this would mean the area was less safe for pedestrians and visitors to the pub.

However, Cheshire East Council rejected the application due to the impact it would have on the open countryside.

Now the Congleton Link Road has opened, the officer's report previously stated that Cheshire East would monitor traffic levels on Wallhill Lane for up
to a year after opening.

If there was a significant increase in traffic volume, additional traffic management measures would be implemented to "mitigate this further".

According to the report, Cheshire East was therefore going to "actively monitor traffic conditions locally and would control changing travel patterns consequent to the opening of the Congleton Link Road in the vicinity of the site".

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