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Nottingham

Car sales garage to become shop despite road safety concerns

Plans to turn a Nottinghamshire car sales garage into a convenience store have been approved at the second time of asking despite concerns it’s an “accident waiting to happen”.

Members of Mansfield District Council’s planning committee refused to grant permission to the development, at Leeming Car Sales, 92A Leeming Lane North Mansfield Woodhouse when they met in September last year.

Concerns were raised over the potential impact the shop could have on neighbouring properties, with several objections submitted on issues including anti-social behaviour, road safety and privacy.

The applicant, Leeming Lane Car Sales, plans to turn the existing garage into a shop and extend it into the rear forecourt.

But concerns were raised about the level of parking proposed in the initial plans, with 10 bays promised in total – six at the front and four at the back for staff.

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The September committee was told the front parking area would also be used for stock delivery by lorries.

This led to an objection from Nottinghamshire County Council as the highways authority, stating there would not be enough space for lorries if cars were parked in the bays.

It was feared this could lead to lorries being forced to reverse into the parking area and causing cars to be “blocked into spaces”.

This, it was viewed in September, could also increase the risk of on-street parking on the nearby Hawthorn Close and the busy A60 at Leeming Lane North. The plans were unanimously refused.

But now the applicant has come forward with new plans which increased the number of parking bays to 15 across the development.

Another change shifted the rear extension slightly to avoid potentially impacting the neighbouring property at 94 Leeming Lane North.

The council received a petition from residents on Hawthorn Close asking for the authority to view issues with road safety on their road and the potential impact the plans could have on the A60.

But in consulting with the county council, the highways authority stated the increase in parking “should be sufficient to cater for demand”.

Delivery vehicles would also use a side gate positioned behind two of the parking spaces accessed off Hawthorn Close, with the highways authority believing they would be able to do this “in a forward gear safely”.

The county council did, however, recommend a delivery management plan should be required as a planning condition.

And a separate condition recommended a traffic regulation order preventing cars parking on the A60 to use the new shop, which the highways authority said would allow for the “safe and free flow of traffic”.

The planning committee gave the plans the green light on Monday (March 14) with seven votes in favour, two against and one abstention.

But speaking in the debate, Councillor Phil Shields (Ind), who represents Netherfield, voted against the plans over issues with road safety.

He said: “I’ve got reservations about going along with the recommendation just purely based on knowing the A60.

“There’s a shop a bit further along where there’s a bus stop, bollards in the middle of the road, crossings, it just seems to be an accident waiting to happen.

“Unfortunately I’ll be voting against it on highways safety even though highways are okay with it.”

Cllr Martin Wright (Mans Ind), who represents the Holly ward, also raised concerns with parking and road safety but said his doubts were not enough to refuse the plans.

He said: “There will be a couple of yellow lines down there so if people do park there, they will be liable to get caught.

“Hopefully they won’t park on the A60 which is a busy road and is one of the reasons we turned it down last time.

“My only doubt is Hawthorn Close but I don’t think it’s big enough to vote against.”

The new store, which planning documents suggest will be a One Stop, can now go ahead subject to no further objections being raised against the plans.

If new concerns or objections are raised, the development would again need to be assessed by councillors.

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