A pub on the outskirts of a south Warwickshire village that is popular with petrolheads has been granted permission to add extra car parking and make a number of changes around the venue.
Neighbours, the parish council and district councillor had objected to the plans and suggested that a smaller car park should be approved to limit the numbers attending Caffeine and Machine on the main A422 Banbury Road north of Ettington,
But other than requesting mature trees be planted between the venue and a neighbouring cottage, councillors approved the changes at Stratford District Council’s planning committee yesterday (Thursday).
Cllr Karen Jones, of Alderminster Parish Council, said the business was now so popular with drivers of sports, performance and adapted cars that it was now unsuitable for the location.
And Sally Russell, who lives next to what was previously the Houndshill pub, said as many as 1,000 vehicles a day could visit the site.
She added: “It has basically become a large car park with insufficient infrastructure. The accompanying noise levels constitute a public nuisance - it has a huge impact on our lives.
“I am a motorsport enthusiast and secretary of the Classic Racing Motorcycle Club and organise and run some very high profile race meetings so I am extremely conscious of the noise restraints which we have to work to at places like Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Donnington Park.”
District Cllr Penny-Anne O’Donnell (Con, Ettington) suggested a smaller car park be allowed adding: “I would suggest that the application for additional parking spaces bringing capacity to 220 - comparative to that of a small supermarket - is potentially excessive. Many of the concerns could be mitigated through the reduction in capacity.”
But that suggestion was rejected by Cllr Matt Jennings (Con, Henley) who is also Stratford District Council’s portfolio holder for tourism and economic development.
He said: “I can’t agree with that at all - you are basically trying to restrict business viability and putting a limit on its success. In the current environment the hospitality sector needs as much help and support as it can get.”
Committee chairman Cllr Peter Richards (Con, Snitterfield) added: “Caffeine and Machine have been able to create a very viable good quality business. They should be rewarded for that, not penalised.
“We must also be mindful of the planning law and the impact that has elsewhere. There are some sound issues to be resolved but that needs to be done under the licensing act and not through planning.”
The plans were approved by seven votes to one with one abstention.