Ebbw Vale Greggs drive-through planning under debate with Gwent Council

A DRIVE-THROUGH Greggs bakery and café could be coming to Ebbw Vale.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough County Council’s Planning committee will debate a planning application by Commercial Developments Property Limited for a drive-through bakery, inside and outside seating areas and associated development at land next to the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) on Waun-y-Pound Road, Ebbw Vale.

The building would have a kitchen area, toilet facilities and dining area to allow customers to eat and drink there.

Further outdoor seating/dining facilities would be provided along with 14 parking spaces, one for motorcycles and waiting bay for two cars.

Planning officer Sophie Godfrey said: “This application is being presented to committee as several objections have been received from neighbouring properties, which raise some concerns that are considered to be of wider public interest.”

According to the report nine letters of objection have been received from people living close by.

They raise a number of issues that they believe the development would negatively impact.

These include: highway safety and more air pollution due to increased traffic and they point out that there are already queues there due to the KFC.

Objectors believe that problems with debris and rubbish that they claim create bad smells and attract rodents to the area due to the KFC restaurant would increase if a Greggs comes to the site.

They also add that the proposal would have a negative impact on Ebbw Vale town centre and even “jeopardise” the existing Greggs café there.

Ms Godfrey said: “The building would be typical of a Greggs building; clad in anthracite grey and cornflower blue feature panels, with the company logo.”

This would need a separate planning permission specifically to allow adverts.

Ms Godfrey said: “Given the nature of the development, it is considered that the proposal would be classified as a leisure use, rather than solely retail.

“As the main trade of the proposed unit would be passing motorists,
the impact on the existing shops is considered to be minimal, without a detrimental impact on their operation and the existing (Gregg’s) Ebbw Vale and Tredegar stores. ”

Ms Godfrey said that the objectors concerns about anti-social behaviour unhealthy eating and the negative impact on value and saleability of nearby houses: “are not material planning considerations.”

Ms Godfrey said “It has been demonstrated that a large proportion of trade will be from passing vehicular traffic on the surrounding highway network rather than ‘new’ or ‘primary’ vehicular trips.”

Ms “It is also worth noting that the ‘eat in’ restaurant element would serve the recently constructed residential developments at both Blue Lake Close and Carn-y-Cefn, both of which are within walking distance to the site.”

She added that “on balance” the application complied with planning policies.

“I therefore recommend approval,” said Ms Godfrey.

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