Saturday, 19th April 2014

Car parking hitch hits Bridgnorth hotel plans.

Bosses behind plans for a proposed 33-bed hotel in Bridgnorth are investigating whether the town has enough parking to cope with the extra cars after ‘strong concerns’ were raised over vehicle access.

A multi-tier car park racking system within the New Market Building is part of the proposals for the Listley Street site. But highways officials at Shropshire Council are not happy and have suggested the car parking proposals be deleted from the scheme.

Carl Huntley, scheme architects, of base Architecture & Design in Shrewsbury, said they were “in limbo” and were now facing a delay of two to three months on the scheme.

Mark Wootton, senior engineer at the council, said in correspondence with the council’s planning department: “I have strong concerns regarding both the practicality and safety of the proposed vehicular access of Listley Street to serve the internal parking arrangements.”

He said: “It is likely that the resulting manoeuvring of a vehicle either gaining access or egress would have to carry out a number of manoeuvres within the highway and potentially encroach across the northern footway to the detriment of pedestrian safety.

“In addition the driver of an exiting vehicle would be unable to view pedestrians crossing the access point, again raising pedestrian safety issues.”

Mr Wootton suggested the car parking should be deleted from the scheme.

Mr Huntley said: “What we are now undertaking is an evaluation of parking within the town to see what capacity is there.

“If there is capacity, great. We need to talk to the town council to make sure they are comfortable with our proposals. Then we would need to move forward and re-design the ground floor.

“If it turns out there is not capacity within the town we have to go back to planning and discuss parking in the ground floor of the hotel.”

Mr Huntley said: “Until that is done were are in limbo, it’s frustrating. We wanted to be done by now.”

Bridgnorth Civic Society has backed the proposals, which were submitted in September.

Doctor Christopher Jephcott, society chairman, said: “The society wishes to place on record our strong support for the application, which we consider will help secure the future of this prominent Grade II-listed building.

“There are possible concerns about the siting and details of the internal parking arrangements but this in no way undermines our general support.”

The Listley Street building was originally built in the 19th century to accommodate local street traders.

It is now home to a number of businesses, including a Costa Coffee Shop, which would remain on the site.

Lisa Rowley