Hockley: Planners recommend refusal of bowling alley

There’s a planning application for a tenpin bowling complex in Eldon Way, Hockley. Planners are recommending that it should be refused – and it will be refused if no district councillor requests by 1 pm Tuesday that it comes to the committee. Here’s part of the officers report:

Parish : Hockley Parish Council
Ward :Hockley Central
Location : 7 To 10 Eldon Way Hockley

Proposal :
Change of Use and Alterations to the Building to
Facilitate the Creation of a 12 Lane TEN PIN Bowling
Complex with Ancillary Facilities.

Hockley Parish Council: Members generally in favour as thought it may relieve some of anti-social behaviour. They have concerns re lack of car parking spaces – application states 17 which they consider inadequate. If application is approved applicant should satisfy Council that adequate parking space within Eldon Way is available. Some insulation work may be necessary to prevent nuisance to nearby residential properties. Unclear as to opening hours.

Planning consent is sought for the change of use and alterations to the building to facilitate the creation of a 12 lane Ten Pin Bowling complex with ancillary facilities…..

….The proposed development is contrary to the policies in the adopted Rochford District Replacement Local Plan, most notably EB1, which seeks to protect existing employment sites. In the light of the likely figures in the ‘East of England Plan’, the district will have to find land for a further 3000 new jobs over the period 2001 to 2021. Losing further employment land may hinder this process. There are already leisure uses on Eldon Way, namely: gym, snooker hall and children’s indoor adventure play centre and it is considered that approval of this proposal would result in leisure uses permeating further into Eldon Way, the consequence of which would be the loss of valuable industrial designated land.

9 representations have been received, the main points being:
o Wonderful idea, easy to walk to and safer than on main road;
o Parking facilities not sufficient;
o Cars parked illegally on pavement;
o Already cars using snooker club in evening are using parking areas of existing industrial units;
o Already parking and safety issues with parents and children using Monkey Business (a children’s activity centre);
o Area intended for industrial use; would be a contravention of that use;
o Already encountered vandalism;
o Will escalate youth problems;
o Noise nuisance; also from air conditioning (if installed) or open windows; will noise insulation completely sound proof the building?
o Food smells;
o Too close to residential properties;
o Will not improve quality of life for residents;
o Will not enhance the character of the area;
o ‘Ancillary facilities’ translate to 24/7 drinking;
o Catchment area will be from outside Hockley and therefore will result in increased traffic;
o Environmental impact – energy used would contribute to global warming;
o Since the installation of the Snooker Club, and public coming into the estate at night, vandalism including broken windows, emptying of rubbish bins and littering with drink bottles has occurred; a bowling complex would exacerbate this;
o Advantages are outweighed by disadvantages
o Opening times not known;

…..Recommendation: REFUSE
1 The proposal, given that it does not relate to an employment generating use (B1, B2, B8), will lead to a proliferation of non-employment generating uses and loss of designated employment land. This would be contrary to policy EB1 of the Rochford District Replacement Local Plan and Policy BIW1 of the Essex and Southend Replacement Structure Plan.
2 The application’s proposed 15 full-time and 10 after-business hours car parking spaces is considered not to meet the Rochford District Council’s Vehicle Parking Standards of 1 space per 22m? (equal to 73 spaces) and given this shortfall and balanced with an assessment of proximity to public transport the proposal is likely to result in significant indiscriminate on-street parking which would be harmful to the functioning of the industrial area.
3 It is considered that the proposed late night opening hours, when the rest of the estate is not open and the ambient noise levels are therefore low, and the site’s proximity to existing residential properties, will adversely affect the amenity of the residents of nearby properties.

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