Broadway Objection Letter to Wine Bar Application

The St Margarets Community Website has recieved a copy of an Objection Letter to the Council from the residents of Broadway Avenue for the proposed wine bar under Streets that we reported earlier. In an effort to provide a balanced discussion of this issue we have decided to publish it here, along with a parking survey the residents provided.

OBJECTION TO PLANNING APPLICATION 05/2442/COU

Change of use of the Lower Ground Floors of No 125-131 St Margarets Road to a Wine Bar (A4) with Ancillary Retail Sales.

From:All the residents of Broadway Ave
St Margarets TW1 1RH
25th September 2005
email: residents@broadwayj.demon.co.uk
tel: 020 8744 2377
To:John Brown Planning Officer RUTC
Planning Committee RUTC
Cllrs Annie Hambridge, Simon Lamb and David Porter
Robert Angus Development Control Manager RUTC
Joe Sadhu Transport Planning RUTC
Malcolm Lock Licensing Officer RUTC
Cllr Robin Jowit, Mayor of Richmond
Dr Vincent Cable MP
Supt. Ian Edwards Met.Police Borough Commander
Paul Mortimer Editor Richmond & Twickenham Times
St Margarets Community Website

If accepted, this application like the previous one would not only have a detrimental effect upon the quality of life in Broadway Avenue, but also upon the whole of St Margarets village.

We agree with the applicants that “this isn’t just not another bar”. At 435 sq metres the area proposed for the wine bar/club is enormous. This is greater than the previous application of 374 sq metres in which the applicants planned to accommodate up to 166 people. It would therefore be a very large venue and quite out of proportion to what a small community could comfortably handle and what’s required on top of the present eating establishments, the two local pubs, and two other outlets selling wines and spirits, as well as an off-licence — all three within 60 metres. The small entrance on St Margarets road would mean people spilling out into an area already overcrowded at certain times of the day, that is also close to a station entrance and a pedestrian crossing. This part of St Margarets is not a “busy high street” as described, but contains clusters of shops. The busiest cluster is currently around Tescos, close to the soon to be opened Superdrug and the proposed wine bar entrance - all within the Phelps ‘block’. The application also mentions Gymboree, housed between Tesco’s and Superdrug, which is not primarily a retail outlet as stated. In Gymboree’s own words it provides “play, music and arts for newborns to under 5’s”. Their play area would be the immediate neighbour to the proposed bar.

The applicants are keen to promote the continued use of the name ‘Phelps’, who ran an established “cherished” local family business. However, since the original application the Phelps family have been responsible for introducing two multi-national outlets into the village. The arrival of the Tesco store has particularly led to an increase in general traffic congestion with huge lorries parked daily both legally and illegally. No doubt these problems will escalate with the opening of the Superdrug store.

Although the site under consideration is at lower ground floor level in the St Margarets Road, it is at ground level in the Broadway Avenue mews, just metres away from residential homes. It is proposed that mews access to the premises would be limited to the disabled, and daytime customers collecting boxes of wine. There are several concerns. These include the long-term control of rear access use, leakage of noise from the premises - which can never be totally excluded especially with lower ambient background noise in the evenings. There would be additional traffic access, and in the late evening possible increased misuse of the mews. Close neighbours have been constantly complaining about the noise coming from the air conditioning plant installed by Tesco, and further aircon units will only add to the problem. Double glazing may offer a reduction in noise but is certainly not a cure. There are few of us who want to live and sleep in a house with permanently closed windows.

All traffic entering the mews has to reverse out of it via a blind corner onto an incline. Broadway Avenue is a one-way road, and the vehicles will therefore be backing out onto traffic coming down the road. Young children especially on bikes and scooters often ignore their parents warning to stop at the pavement edge to the mews, or are indeed oblivious to it, especially when they come down Broadway Avenue from the St Margarets Road. Even at their business peak Phelps deliveries and pickups were limited and caused far less concern. The volume of traffic using Broadway Avenue has considerably increased since that time, especially with the addition of the business unit at the end of Winchester Road. Any additional mews traffic is therefore undesirable and also a potential danger to adults, toddlers and the many young children who use Broadway Avenue as their main route to and from two local primary schools.

Whether you accept the parking survey related to four immediate roads, submitted with the previous and present applications, or our own findings (details attached and supported by an enclosed DVD video); those of you with any local knowledge are aware that residential parking is a huge problem especially in the evenings. To suggest that the majority of these patrons will walk to this new venue is at best misguided. The bursting car park of the St Margarets Tavern disproves that theory every night of the week. In fact the Council’s own Transport Planning department considered the previous application “would be a potential source of car borne traffic with its detrimental impact on the local amenity of the area”. They recommended refusal, and their survey was August 2004 during the holiday period, and before the introduction of Tesco and Superdrug.

Like many local roads Broadway Avenue is narrow. The houses and therefore the bedrooms are close to the road. Even with the present limited licensing laws we are often disturbed by noisy passers-by at night. These are not necessarily the younger element but often customers who have left the two local pubs, and like many do not realise that the volume of their conversation increases in relation to their alcohol intake. Even the more sophisticated St Margaretarian (that the applicants suggest they are trying to attract) is not immune from displaying inconsiderate behaviour after a few glasses of wine. The applicants say that they will run their wine bar within “normal” licensing hours, which are soon to be potentially 24 hours a day.

When the applicants withdrew their application last year many of us received a letter from them suggesting that we had misrepresented their views to the council’s officers. Whilst we’re pleased to see that this is not repeated in their present application, several phrases used paint an inaccurate picture of the local environment and village community. This community feel is one of the reasons that people come to live in St Margarets and not to frequent a large “club” (the applicants word).

Over the years the residents of Broadway Avenue have worked hard together with Richmond Borough Council to promote a peaceful and safe environment. This has included the creation of a one-way system to ease congestion, road humps to slow the traffic, the prevention of large lorries using the road as a cut through, and the introduction of controlled parking (after taking the brunt of commuter parking from St Margarets station for years).

We’ve had some sympathy with the Phelps desire to rent their large commercial premises, but despite their long and “cherished” relationship within St Margarets, they have shown little empathy with our community of residents and traders. The wine bar/club should obviously be located in either of the busy Richmond or Twickenham town centres, both of which are in easy walking distance for St Margarets residents.

There comes a point where a planning application becomes a community issue, and where all parties need to stand up and be counted. In this instance those parties are us as residents, and you as our elected representatives. We are all responsible for protecting our living and working environment, especially in relation to an application that clearly departs from Unitary Development Plan ‘policy for a conservation area.’

All the residents of Broadway Avenue, St Margarets.

Here is the ‘parking survey’ from the residents.

Residents parking survey September 2005
AMYAND PK RD *BRIDGE RDBROADWAY AVEWINCHESTER RD
potential spaces 52254675
Actual spacesActual spacesActual spacesActual spaces
DATE203021302230203021302230203021302230203021302230
Sat 10 Sep 0531112O1O12O1
Sun 11 Sep 0576343O42252O
Mon 12 Sep 0586232O13O42O
Tue 13 Sep 053O11OO31O742
Wed 14 Sep 054423312O1831
Thu 15 Sep 0536221O23O3OO
Fri 15 Sep 0542O1OO4OO31O
Sat 16 Sep 053443322O124O
Sun 17 Sep 057524213OO721
Mon 18 Sep 05973411421832
Tue 19 Sep 0556223O232642
Wed 20 Sep 0553221O32O421
Thu 21 Sep 056432OO33142O
Fri 22 Sep 05431OOOO1O3OO

* From the junction with the St Margarets Road to the railway footbridge

30 September 2005 | Category » news

Comments

Could I suggest to Mr Phelps that if permission, for this much needed venue is refused on the grounds mentioned in this letter, that he seek a distribution or warehousing company to use the site. This is the intended usage for the premises and so would not require permission from the local authority.
Lorries, vans and cars could come and go as they please and as often as they please. Local disruption would be ten fold that of the wine bar.
I do hope this fact is taken into account by the council.

N. Grigg at 30 September 2005 10:09 PM

Interesting comment by N Grigg. Seems to be saying ‘better the devil you know..’. In fact from what I understand Mr Phelps has already tried to rent it out for warehousing, and failed. The reason being both the legal and physical restraints of the access to the site, and the one-way system. In days gone by when larger vehicles did use the mews they backed out into the mews opposite and went up Broadway Avenue to rejoin the St Margarets Road from Broadway Avenue. Larger vehicles now find it difficult if not impossible to manoeuvre around the one-way system back to the main road, and they certainly can’t get back via Moormead and Hillview Road. Many of the concerns expressed in the letter above and on this website relate to the late night usage aspect of the application. Business use is strictly controlled and if I lived in Broadway Avenue I think I’d prefer a bit more disruption during the day than during the late evening and night. I don’t agree with everything the residents have written, but well done to them for organising themselves. And I certainly agree 100% with their final point about our local environment. Finally, if the poll on this website is an accurate reflection of local feeling, then it’s pretty obvious that St Margarets as a whole doesn’t think that this is a ‘much needed’ venue.

Alex at 1 October 2005 8:35 AM

Yes this is not a cosy little wine bar tucked away under our friendly local greengrocers. It’s a large establishment serving drinks and providing meals.

Cathy at 1 October 2005 11:27 AM

At long last I understand St. Margaret’s. The ‘village’ consists of Broadway Avenue, while the rest of us live in normal St. Margarets. It’s nice to know that there is an enlightened group of our betters who can keep an eye on things and look after the interests of us unfortunates who don’t know what’s good for us.

I think this is an appalling case of a highly localised group of NIMBYs looking to impose their own wants on the rest of us. They are quick to talk about ‘community’ and the ‘village’ but only insofar as it suits their purposes.

I had been curious about the online poll as the level did not accord with the overall views I have come across in St Margaret’s in general. I now think that a concerted anti campaign by ‘the few’ may explain. I am sure the poll is easily open to abuse and if the residents of Broadway Village persuaded friends, relatives and colleagues to vote (regardless of where they live) then the result is obvious.

Broadway’s letter prompted me to look at this application more closely and I have been reading through the old and new documents on the planning site. What strikes me is that last year there was an understandable reason for Broadway to be particularly concerned by this wine bar as the entrance was sited in the mews leading off the top end of Broadway and you could sympathise with their worries at the time.

I was very interested to read the Broadway residents letter regarding last years application. Considering the tone of this current letter I expected to see something even more apoplectic considering the then proposed entrance was off Broadway. I was extremely surprised to see a number of Broadway residents listed as ‘no objection to date’. Why were they happy with the entrance off Broadway, but suddenly incensed when the entrance was moved round the corner and up the St Margaret’ Road? Also, why does the letter say ‘We would stress that our concerns are not the nature of the business but its operation within the boundaries of a service road bordering our homes’? Surely this very concern has been addressed, so why even greater objection.

This is what makes me believe that there are a few dedicated campaigners against this proposal and I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of Broadway residents are less against this than is implied and probably just added their names for some peace and quiet and to avoid harassment. I am really angry that a few people appear set on determining what is good for the St Margaret’s that I live in, just to suit their own agenda. This is what has prompted me to waste half my weekend looking at the planning site and write this overly long missive.

This is a new application with an entrance in St Margarets Road, not Broadway Avenue (and at the farthest end from Broadway). The issue that now directly affects Broadway is the daytime use of the mews, but this would be a factor regardless as the premises are commercial and is not a consequence of the wine bar.

Children on ‘bikes and scooters’ appears part of a scheme to stir up emotions and fears, like the Gymboree ‘play area would be the immediate neighbour to the proposed bar’! Oh please, there is Tesco and Fitzgibbon between the respective entrances. Is Broadway suggesting that someone is going to tunnel through the adjacent wall?

The Broadway letter suggests that the wine bar is far bigger than previously proposed. Comparing the plans it is obvious that the increased size relates to the new space required to create the new entrance and consists of a lobby and staircase.

The Broadway letter worries about ‘people spilling out into an area already overcrowded at certain times of the day’. What do you mean? The area is relatively busy when a train arrives and passengers disperse. This sounds more like a transparent attempt to hijack the very real chaos caused by the Tesco deliveries and link it to the bar. Surely the busiest activity at the bar entrance would be in the evening as people return from work, long after Tesco deliveries and well after the toddlers and young children are home from school.

One area Broadway reasonably have questions is the potential noise from the rear as well as any air-conditioning or extraction. Presumably the Broadway residents have questioned the applicants on this. Was the answer unsatisfactory or did you not get an answer? There are also issues with traffic and parking in the area, but let’s not muddy the waters with difficulties arising through the Tesco deliveries but look at this objectively. I realise that the interview with the applicants was published here after your letter was written. Have any of your questions or concerns been answered?

By the way, I think you forgot to copy your letter to the European Commission of Human Rights, Tony Blair and Prince Charles, you did everyone else.

sally at 1 October 2005 10:42 PM

Sally you said it for St.Margarets - well done.

mark at 2 October 2005 12:15 AM

Thank you Saly for your input again. All dialogue is good dialogue, whether or not you agree with our objections. Actually Prince Charles is a good idea - thanks.

Broadway Avenue Residents.

Harry Jacobs at 2 October 2005 10:24 AM

Having read the comments, interviews and the information on the planning website, I support the scheme.

The visual impact of the new wine bar is negligible, which unfortunately can’t be said of Superdrug’s new paintwork. I also agree with other commentators that St. Margarets needs a more sophisticated venue for more mature drinkers. If, arguably, we have too many loud ‘boozers’ in the neighbourhood already then that’s not a reason not to have a different kind of establishment to cater for a different market.

With regard to the noise argument however, according to the plans the areas of the bar directly adjacent to the mews, and therefore within earshot of local houses, are the toilets, a specialised wine tasting area and the kitchen. Unless the kitchen has a window and they play the radio loud or bang the pots and pans a lot, I really can’t imagine much noise pollution spilling into the mews area.

I agree with Sally that Broadway Ave. seems to have taken on the role of Alpha Street of the area (must be because they have a CPZ!), and that there’s a hard core of objecters. I’m not convinced by the argument that they can use the argument that’s its a family & child dominated area. The 2 bed flats in the neighbouring Kenley, Sidney and Godstone Roads for example are predominantly occupied by professional couples who (speaking as part of that group) would certainly welcome a glass of wine in an evening without being surrounded by rowdy students.

In fact the official demographic classification (according to www.upmystreet.co.uk) of my postcode at least is ACORN type 15 which actually says ‘very few children’ and ‘[residents] enjoy good food and wine’. That’s the real St. Margarets these days. I suspect the core objecters in Broadway may not be from the demographic that would frequent a wine bar wherever it was.

I wish Grapespot the best of luck in their application.

Andy at 2 October 2005 2:02 PM

There are many small businesses in St Margarets run by people who haved worked long and hard to build up a reputation and a clientelle. These include, Brula, Cutters, Scrunch, The Thai Pin, Streets, Zorans. All of these are run by extremely hard working people who I imagine have spent a lot of time and effort growing their businesses and their reputations. I don’t suppose it is easy. Tescos and Superdrug are if you like two monsters in our midsts who we have no choice but to live with.

The wine bar is not a bad idea in itself but it is too big and it is in the wrong place. It doesn’t matter where you put the entrance the wine bar itself is still in Broadway Avenue and Broadway Avenue is a residential street.

If these people had started small, found premises on the main road and built their reputation and the trust of the local people then they may have had some chance of success. As it is they have already caused huge controversy and they haven’t even opened yet.

There is a lot of abuse on this website from supporters of the bar towards the residents who mostly just want a quiet life and to be able to get on with whatever it is they do to make a living.

Of course the residents of Broadway Avenue are the loudest voices of dissent - the wine bar is in their street. Of course I am upset about it - it is my children who will be kept awake at night.

Jane Pettersson at 3 October 2005 12:21 PM

As a St. Margarets resident for many a year a pleasent glass of wine at the end of the day, in a bar not catering for the “mobile ring-tone generation”, sounds great. I certainly won’t be driving.

The last time I remember such a local fuss in the Rich & Twick was about the awfulness of Sunshine and Raviolli opening on a Sunday. The fears proved unfounded. I understand the residents concerns, but feel they are probably looming larger in their minds than the reality that will unfold.

Johnno at 5 October 2005 5:14 PM

Sally
Regarding your note responding to the Broadway Ave residents letter, surely the point is that the correspondents DID advise everyone that they ARE indeed residents of Broadway Ave, this is clearly stated and therefore is their subjective perspective and point of view. Why not accept it as that rather than try to make out that they are speaking for everyone in St Margaret’s? Sadly, I think you are over-politicising this and jumping to conclusions that simply aren’t there.

Two points on ‘NIMBYism’. The directors of Parvinu in a letter to residents and through their website invite feedback which I duly provided. I asked them how they would feel if this enterprise was to open within 60 yards of where they lived? I have received no answer…maybe because they are NIMBYs themselves?

Wheeling out the old NIMBY acronym is a kind of snobbish criticism; “look at me I’m open-minded, not a NIMBY myself” kind of approach. Dare I suggest it’s because you are an ‘INIMBY’ - ‘It’s Not In My Backyard’ - and therefore you have a different perspective to Broadway Ave residents. I signed up to the letter because I believe in it and endorse it and the proposed wine bar really is very near to my own back yard!

Richard at 6 October 2005 12:19 PM

Sally
Regarding your note responding to the Broadway Ave residents letter, surely the point is that the correspondents DID advise everyone that they ARE indeed residents of Broadway Ave, this is clearly stated and therefore is their subjective perspective and point of view. Why not accept it as that rather than try to make out that they are speaking for everyone in St Margaret’s? Sadly, I think you are over-politicising this and jumping to conclusions that simply aren’t there.

Two points on ‘NIMBYism’. The directors of Parvinu in a letter to residents and through their website invite feedback which I duly provided. I asked them how they would feel if this enterprise was to open within 60 yards of where they lived? I have received no answer…maybe because they are NIMBYs themselves?

Wheeling out the old NIMBY acronym is a kind of snobbish criticism; “look at me I’m open-minded, not a NIMBY myself” kind of approach. Dare I suggest it’s because you are an ‘INIMBY’ - ‘It’s Not In My Backyard’ - and therefore you have a different perspective to Broadway Ave residents. I signed up to the letter because I believe in it and endorse it and the proposed wine bar really is very near to my own back yard!

Richard at 6 October 2005 12:20 PM

Yes please, I would like to see a wine bar in the village! By the way - can we get rid of the doctors surgery in our road (Napoloen) it’s causing a traffic problem.

Alistair Wright at 14 October 2005 12:17 PM

Alistair should know that the doctor’s surgery on Napoleon Road will be moving in the next two years, to a new surgery on the Brunel site.

Trevor at 15 October 2005 9:49 AM

re traffic congestion outside Tesco’s etc. 70% of the traffic congestion at peak hours is caused by the school run when Crown Road, Amyand Park Road and adjoining roads become clogged by cars. Occasionally there is a large delivery lorry unloading at Tesco’s which unfortunately adds to the general chaos. If Tesco could arrange their deliveries outside the rush hour life could be much easier. If, through this web site, parents could be encouraged to walk their children to school this would ease the situation. Reference the wine bar and other recent changes I think a lot of people are against any sort of change. I have lived in this area since 1957 and witnessed many changes. Unfortunately this is inevitable whether it is for the better or not.

McCreddie M (Mac) at 24 October 2005 6:38 PM

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