Two Planning Applications From Greggs, 81 High Street Rayleigh

There are two planning applications from Greggs the bakers on this week’s ‘weekly list’. Officers are recommending approval of one of them, and refusal of the other. So unless any councillor calls them in to the Development Committee by 1 pm on Wednesday., one of them will be approved and one will be refused.

The first application is for some outside seating:

The proposal is for the use of an area measuring 3.01m deep and 4.59m wide for external seating by Greggs. This premises is within a parade of commercial units which are inset from neighbouring shops with forecourt located to their frontage. The outdoor seating would use existing forecourt and also project into the public highway. It would project 1.65m beyond the front
elevation of the neighbouring shop at no.77 (Boots). The seating would be surrounded by moveable banners

Officers are recommending approval, but there are some objections:

Rayleigh Town Council:

“Objects to this application due to the narrowing of the High Street pavement in a very busy area of the town.
This would impact on the market on operating day.
The building is located in the Conservation Area and the advertising would be detrimental to the street scene
Concerns regarding the public queuing outside the premises for health and safety reasons.
The applicant does not own the land past the brass pavement studs”

The Essex County Council Conservation Officer:

I object to the principle of this application, as I believe that it will be an unwelcome intrusion in the streetscape of the Conservation Area by creating a cluttered and garish element. As such the application would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. This will only be heightened by the use of several screens to section off the area from the rest of the pavement, which are to display advertising for the company, and would further add to the intrusive nature of the proposed plans.
It is worth noting that whilst there are a couple of other establishments that offer outside seating on the High Street, these are limited to two tables under the canopy of the buildings, and as such do not represent such an overpowering intrusion….

Rochford Access Committee for the Disabled:

The seating area is a hazard to the disabled. We have to look out for the A boards that block the paths in the High Street
Putting tables and chairs on the path two rows deep is over the top and the cloth barrier is a hazard to the blind that use a long cane…

The officers view is that:

Bearing in mind that a pavement width of approximately 2.2m would remain with the proposed seating in place with a lesser distance on market days, that ECC Highways do not object to the proposal and that the site has a fallback position whereby such seating could be installed which is approximately 1m less than the proposal without the need for planning permission, it is considered that it would not be justified to refuse this application. Planning conditions could be imposed where reasonable including a condition seeking improved barriers that are nota hazard to the blind and that have a more attractive appearance within the Conservation Area

The second application is for those banners mentioned previously:

4 No. Heavy Duty Canvas Banners Displaying the Company Logo to be Positioned Around Outside Seating Area

and these are recommended for refusal on the following grounds:

It is considered that the banners, using blue/grey colouring and advertising the company logo on each banner would represent visual clutter in terms of advertising too prominent in colouring and design and would appear detrimental to the character of the Conservation Area in this location.

You can find the full reports by downloading the weekly list here. The Greggs applications start on page 21.