No Supa Pub for Ewloe

Ewloe proposed Supa Pub application was rejected by a handsome majority to Flintshire’s Planning Committee yesterday. No Christmas card will be sent by my residents to the Queensferry councillor who pushed hard for the pub to go ahead but lost his motion with the most helpful contributions by several members but mostly by the sound common sense from Chris Bithell, Mold East Ward. Queensferry councillor was on his feet the second our Planning Officer had described the reason why his officers were supporting this application. The Planners though the pub would complement the wider employment site, 50 to 70 jobs were promised and yes, Ewloe was recognised as having a history of parking problems but 81 gated parking spaces would not exacerbate the problem. No mention was made of this provision being less than the number of spaces (114), specified in the Council’s Parking standards and no mention was made of further displacement onto these congested roads by placing double yellow lines into the hammerhead that runs beside the HSOB offices that would become the way into the pub site. That is part of a veryt busy ATM service. The weakest part of the Planning case was that the land had originally been set aside for “high quality employment”- envisaged as a high tech office need, not a pub.
“Had I not barred myself from speaking by making my views felt in the press and at the site visit? Surely, I should not be allowed to speak”
Queensferry man persisted.
“I was unwittingly drawn into a press statement by a member of your own Party”,
I retorted and waited for a decision to be made by the top table. Legal officer adjudicated and I was allowed to explain my reasons for seeking rejection. “14 years ago, land around St David’s Park had been waving field of corn crossed by ancient footpaths. All this had given way to a massive residential and commercial building programme since the mid 90’s and the voters register for Ewloe had swelled from 3,755 in 2004 and is projected to rise to 4,275 by 2014. Every new constituent means more cars and already Elwoe had been transformed into an urban sprawl with acres of cars visiting and parking every day. The A494 cuts through the area carrying thousands of cars each had that had been deemed as excessive as far back as 1996 To lose our last green space and remove a valuable “lung” enjoyed by walkers and dogs. I counted the number of food and drinking outlets that existed in the area. Ewloe Post Office, that had extended its premises and offered hot and cold food throughout the day, the Social Club, the hotel, yards from the new proposal, the Crown & Liver, now extensively refurbished and doing very well. The Boards Head, the three Chinese/fish shops and the two CoOp’s all selling food. There was no need for any more such premises and to risk losing jobs from these established businesses under the speculative promise of 50 to 70 jobs would be regrettable. Even the arrival of a take away van that had parked outside had meant that the Post Office lost £500 a week whilst the van remained on site. I thought a pub was not what had been expected for the site, more productive in fact and then went on to say that 33% of Flintshire is at the bottom 10% for environmental areas in Wales; a score calculated by diminishing air quality, traffic, waste tips and industrial sites. I pointed out that Ewloe had most of those and should the pub application be granted, I would seek a formal and comprehensive Health Impact Assessment as the pub would bring more cars into the area. I asked my colleagues to support my plea that Ewloe had had enough development and congestion and time to give us a breather.” Imagine my joy, when Cllr Bithell rose to accuse the Planning Officers of breaking their own policy on what the land had been assigned for originally. “High quality employment”: not for pulling pints! He spoke at length of the need to safeguard this valuable land with excellent road connections for a more deserving use such as a high tech science development or something of tht magnitude. He disagreed that the site should remain unused but I could live with that and fight another day. Other members also spoke against the proposal, following Chris Bithell’s clever intervention and the Queensferry member lost the vote in favour of the pub being rejected for the purpose originally intended “high quality employment” I will now explore if the site can be saved by awarding it Village Green status”, as suggested by Cllr Matt Wright, who knows a thing or two about such applications. Thank you colleagues who helped to defeat the pub. My constituents will be well pleased with the day’s work.

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