Flagstaff’s work depot plans which could ‘harm’ Ashby hotel are set to be given the go-ahead | Local News | news

Revised plans for a controversial works storage depot which could ‘harm the future’ of a busy hotel on the outskirts of Ashby are set to be given the go-ahead next week.

That is despite a series of objections from Ashby de la Zouch Town Council and nearby businesses and residents.

Objections to the plans have described the proposed design as ‘ugly’ and ‘harmful to local businesses’ – while concerns have also been raised about the amount of extra HGV traffic in the area.

The EG Group wants to build a road related storage, maintenance and management facility with associated site works next to the associated fuel station at Flagstaff Island, close to the junction with the A42.

It is also close to the Premier Inn – currently Ashby’s only major hotel, which has strongly objected to the scheme – and McDonald’s which share the same service area site.

A previous application was rejected as the proposed development would be ‘visually harmful to the character and appearance of the surrounding area.’

The revised scheme, which already has planning permission, will now go before councillors at next Tuesday’s North West Leicestershire District Council planning committee – and it will be recommended that the plans are permitted.

.The meeting will be told that, as a result of the amended scheme, the height of the building has been reduced from 10.3m to 8.2m which is lower than adjacent canopies and the siting of the building has been re-oriented to reduce its prominence from public vantage points.

Furthermore, the amended scheme now features a substantially reduced service yard and a significant amount of landscaping is now proposed which would further screen the proposal reducing the dominance of the scheme within the public realm and addressing the issues raised previously.

A council report said: “The previous scheme would have resulted in a much taller and more dominant building with a height of 10.3m, an overly large service yard, unsubstantial landscaping and a siting which would have ensured significant prominence when viewed from the public realm .”

But Ashby Town Council says it objects to the scheme due to:

• Causing disruption and deterring visitors from the town

• Proposal is too large for the location

• Noise, air and light pollution

• Highway concerns

• Harm to the River Mease

• Assessments are required and no capacity is available

• Contrary to Local Plan policies as the proposals are not a road-related services facility, and as the site is allocated as countryside, not employment land.

The Premier Inn at Flagstaff Island has objected to the plans. Photo: Ashby Nub News

Local businesses and residents also raised concerns which included:

• Land area is too small for the proposal

• Ugly design

• Overly dominant

• Little changed from the previously refused application

• Pedestrians struggle to cross the road due to already bad waiting times –

• Proposal not road related

• Overloading of the Packington sewage plant

• Great Crested Newts within the site

• 24 hour noise

• Exhaust pollution and disturbance

• Mixing extra HGV traffic with the A42 Services passenger cars and pedestrians

• Residents and consultees were not consulted on the 2019 application

• Harm to public health

• Potential for storage of toxic materials

• Harmful to local businesses

Whitbread, which operates the Premier Inn hotel and Brewers Fayre restaurant on the Flagstaff site, made its opposition to the plans known in May in a lengthy letter from senior associate Dominic Page.

Part of the letter reads: “The 24-hour use of the proposed facility would cause direct harm to hotel guests by way of excessive noise, adverse air quality (particularly to the external seating area) and excessive lighting (both fixed and vehicular) during night time hours and winter months.

“In the absence of any technical assessment, it is not known what (if any) mitigation is required; however, it is Whitbread’s opinion that the level of harm in the absence of any mitigation will directly and adversely affect the future of the hotel and restaurant’s operations and ultimately harm the business’ long-term commercial viability.

“The potentially sub-standard service yard and insufficient car parking provision have potential to result in commercial and staff vehicles waiting or parking on Lountside and other local roads.

“This could lead to conflicts with other road users of the service area including hotel and restaurant guests, and would increase the risk of potential accidents with pedestrians (eg hotel guests walking to and from the nearby fast food restaurants and shops).

“Also. the proposed gas main diversion would introduce a significant piece of infrastructure in very close proximity to the hotel that could require regular access and maintenance that would further adversely affect hotel guests.

“The diversion location excludes all construction related details such as sections, key distances, easements, access arrangements and achievable soft landscaping.”

Ashby Town Council has already objected to the plans.

Ashby councillors reject ‘hideous’ development.

Ashby councillors raise objections to works depot at Flagstaff Island.

Ashby councillors reject ‘carbuncle’ site and say a cinema would be better suited

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