Greene King plough ahead with expansion plans at The Bell, Shottery, despite residents' objections
DECISION day looms for a controversial bid to transform the outdoor space at The Bell in Shottery.
The alarm was raised earlier in the year by people living nearby who say Greene King is proposing an unnecessary change to the popular pub and increase the road safety risk around it.
But when the latest version of the plans for a pergola, railings and fixed seating go to next Wednesday's Stratford District Council planning committee meeting, officers are recommending it should be approved.
Angry residents aim to be there to have a say and the report to the meeting highlights concerns that have already been raised.
Ward councillor David Curtis objected, triggering it going to the committee and his concerns are highlighted in the paperwork councillors will see.
His most recent objection highlights his opposition to the fencing off an area frequently used by people avoiding traffic on a busy corner: "I object to this proposal on grounds of safety concerns for pedestrians using the footpath by the Bell pub.
"Highways may not have objected but I find this surprising as lorries and coaches turning left from Hathaway Lane into Shottery have to mount the pavement in order to make this turn.
"This is not simply a question of vehicles mounting the kerb and causing damage thereto, but coaches and lorries have to use the full width of the pavement to make this manoeuvre.
"Currently pedestrians are able to step off the pavement onto the existing green space adjacent to the pavement but if a fence is placed on, or close to the boundary (less than a metre) pedestrians will be place in danger as there will be no 'escape route'.
"This is not an occasional hazard but a daily and frequent occurrence as this is a 'rat-run' from Alcester Road to Evesham Road and during school hours there are numerous school bus journeys along this route."
The report goes on to sum up other objections made to the plans, which add further weight to the worries about safety, suggest the pergola is not in keeping with the area, saying the changes will increase demand for parking, a loss of privacy for neighbouring properties, a risk of increased antisocial behaviour and more.
But in assessing the plans, the report says they are in line with prevailing policies and recommends approval. It also notes the railings that have sparked much of the concern do not need planning permission, while the proposed fixed seating and pergola do.
Councillors are due to consider the report and make a decision at their meeting next Wednesday, 24th November, at 6pm at the council offices in Church Street, Stratford.
The full report is available now on the district council's website.