Cooks Shipyard Planning Application
  • I've posted this on the Health Centre Facts thread, but I thought the second half of this communication from Jonathan Frank of Lexden Restorations deserved its own thread. Jonathan Frank gave me his permission to post it up on the Forum.

    Dear Mr Mainwood

    Further to your previous e-mail, I thought that you may be interested in
    the following statement:

    Further to the recent public meeting and the obvious strength of local
    opinion against the siting of the New Wivenhoe Doctors Surgery at Cooks
    Shipyard. I can confirm that negotiations with Realise Health and ourselves have
    now been concluded in order that they can progress discussions

    Following preliminary enquiry discussions with Colchester Borough
    Council's Planning Department in May 2012, Lexden Restorations will shortly be
    submitting a planning application to change the designation of the ground floor
    of the proposed commercial building from its current A1/B1 use class to A3. The
    planning application will include an indicative layout showing a 50 cover
    restaurant. The plans for the upper floors will remain unchanged. A traffic assessment will be submitted as part of the

    Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 



    The Barn, Church Road,
    Colchester, Essex, CO5 7BN

    T: 01206 729500
    F: 01206 728944
    E: W:

    Registered Office: Middleborough House, 16 Middleborough,
    Colchester, Essex, CO1 1QT
    Reg. in England No. 2628624 VAT Registration No.
    623 4476 45

  • Hooray,
    At last a proposal that will benefit wivenhoe. Always thought we needed a good restaurant/winebar to make the most of one of our best assets-the river. Not all development in lower Wivenhoe should be just housing and non viable office space.
  • Great news... power to the people! **whistles The Red Flag**  :)

  • planning ap does mean health centre started but a useful good location for noshing and drinking if good design looking over the river
  • Really fantastic news - perhaps Wivenhoe will finally get a great fish restaurant? Loving the wine bar idea as well.
  • This is sounding good... and kudos to Jonathan Frank for keeping us in the loop before the planning app has even gone in. It will be a pleasant change to write a supportive comment on a planning application :D

    Also even though everyone has been saying office space is non-viable, I think aside from parking issues this has to do with the fact we are in the middle of a recession. People are being cautious and funding is harder to come by for businesses too. I am glad some B1 use might be kept now on the upper floors of the building .
  • ironic new thread re office space though perhaps ???
  • Just as long as it's not a Steak n' Shake, Subway, KFC or McDonald's or Kenny Rogers Roasters. I don't mind a Wendy's for old times sake, or a Golden Egg, if they still exist.
  • OMG if it's one of the above just imagine the traffic down the High Street or Anglesea Road in the evenings! But I don't think that's what he has in mind (fingers crossed!).
  • 'OMG'.....? And you berate me for the use of 'fayre'...... ;-p

  • Loved the Kebabs served from the Greyhound garden when Jan and Erik (sic?) were there. :)

  • I'm feeling hopeful  - at a squeeze we could perhaps fit at least 5 fast food stalls into a 50 seater, ranging from Harry's Hot-dogs to Crank's Grains and Greens (the latter being entirely for me), plus a wine bar. If all that existed, I'd be heading that way right now. Where are Jan and Erik - can we get them back to take on the Black Buoy?
  • "'OMG'.....? And you berate me for the use of 'fayre'...... ;-p"

    Adrian, I thought we'd discussed dragging things out ad nauseam this morning. Especially as nobody else knows what you're talking about! Did I ought to write LOL after that?
  • hes not the only one who wont let things go

    'what goes around comes around' - lol - lol is for you pauline lol
  • Not sure what you're talking about, Detached. What are you referring to?
  • its ok dont worry about it

    the lol bit i just copying your suggestion

    to echo you - 'Especially as nobody [a few who know who they are do] else knows what you're talking about'
  • I find it quite intersting how easily people change their views when food and drink is mentioned.  Its all sounds lovely but dont some of the issues raised before still apply - noise pollution, smells and access.  Jonathan Frank mentions in his letter that a A traffic assessment will be submitted as part of the application.  It's already diificult for traffic and parking is getting worse by the day.  Applications for a change of use at Cooks shipyard for a cafe/restaurant on the existing site have already been turned down.  What of the current restaurants and pubs in the area that seem to be struggling at this time of recession - is there enough people living in Wivenhoe who can support all these venues. Food for thought!
  • Yes, the way to Wivenhoe's heart certainly seems to be through its stomach....

    Interesting to look back though at what Jonathan Frank said in his letter to area_woman which is on the Health Centre Facts thread.
    And worth bearing in mind that what is being proposed now is a 50 cover restaurant.

    Talking about the previous application he said....

    "Having first been scrutinised by the Planning Inspectorate as well as Colchester Borough
    Council, planning consent was granted for our scheme. The only change being the
    deletion of a Fish Restaurant that had been proposed next to the wet dock (a 1000
    signature petition was presented to the planning committee by objectors who had scared
    the population of Wivenhoe into thinking that we were proposing a 300 seat restaurant,
    based on a totally erroneous calculation of how many people could fit into the entire area
    allocated to the restaurant, without taking into consideration toilets, kitchens, stores,
    lobbies etc)."

    "As with all new development the devil is in the detail and as soon as Taylor Woodrow
    started developing the site many, many Wivenhoe residents expressed to me how sad
    they were that Lexden Restorations were not developing it. Interestingly, many expressed
    their regret that there was not a restaurant in the development!"

    And talking about the remaining plot of land that Lexden Restorations own (and which was considered for the Medical Centre)...

    "Both the Town Council and the Planners said that their preferred use was commercial and
    I was advised to submit an application to change the ground floor of the proposed building
    from A1 retail use to A3 restaurant use
    . Following this feedback I instructed architects to
    prepare a planning application which is finished and ready to submit."

  • I was joking about the fast food places in my posts above - an attempt to present the worst scenario in a positive light. I'm sure I share a preference with many - no fast food, no franchises. Also, how about a campaign for a slow-cooking themed restaurant so the amount of traffic is restricted to a small number of environmentally friendly non-car-user consumers.
  • whatever style food emporium might start there down the line i dont think a fast food place chained or not could then be prevented

    the whole point re cooks and docks developments as mainly housing with resultant traffic all channel mainly through 1 access and then not leaving aside space for the then larger community needs eg new surgery is a massive failing of the whole planning process going back many years to the wivenhoe explosive development with no overall logic and forethought or PLANNING

    now its only ever trying to shut stable doors after horses already bolted
  • To add to my post above....unfortunately the last paragraph made this point....

    "Whilst this application was being prepared I was approached by a planning consultant who
    had heard that the site was going back into my ownership. He asked if I would consider
    selling it for a new doctors’ surgery/health centre. As this use was a commercial use (albeit
    requiring a change of use from A1/B1 to D2) and one that would generate similar traffic
    flows to the consented building
    and as both the Town Council and the Planning Officers
    had said that they wanted a commercial use, I agreed to sell the site"

    <cough>...but we'll skip over that bit....
  • I think it is important to bear in mind that, regardless of whether it should have been granted, there is already A1 permission on this unit.

    As it stands this means some kind of food shops could be opened, for example Greggs operate from A1 retail premises and I think Subway also can be run from A1.

    Of course it could also be a sold to Tesco/ Spar/ Sainsburys etc who have the kind of money and aggresive expansion policies to risk investing in a potentially unprofitable location in the current climate.

    As established from the Health Centre thread, the section 106 agreement on the Cooks Development means this building has to be constructed within 12 months of the last residential building being occupied, unless an extra year can be granted if the owner can prove financing problems or a change of permission is applied for. This means something has to be built there soon. I would actively like a good restaurant -Snowrae's suggestion of a fish restaurant would seem fitting to the location, and I would be relieved that worse has been avoided.

    I would have suggested 3 live/work or polyfunctional units as an alternative prior to this restaurant development. As discussed on previous threads, a lot of people are moving to towards working from home and apparently artisan/ craft units were what decision makers had in mind when demanding business premises there. The existing live/work units on cooks are getting some use for their intended purposes (see forthcoming christmas cornocopia) and there is a demand for more of this type of facility (Pru Green). The car issue is mitigated by the aim that residents would be working from home and the cost may be more manageable for the purchaser as it can be bought with a residential mortgage. Although the Pearl Walk business units may look cheap at 90k, you only get a concrete tunnel of space for this which is going to cost £10k to fit out and this cannot be paid for with a commercial mortgage. Then you have the ongoing cost of business rates, insurance, services and maintenance which you could save some money on if you worked from home. Especially for the type of craft type activity that has been identified as desirable I would have thought live/ work units would have been better suited and more commercially viable than B1 offices. However, I appreciate there are already too many people for existing infrastructure and live/work would exacerbate the problem... so a nice restaurant seems like a good option.
  • A nice restaurant would indeed be nice, except for the existing pubs and food outlets in lower Wivenhoe, I don't think they will be cheering. More competition in a small trading area will make it tougher still to survive.
  • lets link 2 threads - could the restaurant get its fish straight off the boat - not many foods miles then for that and one less vehicle up and down

  • Hello Kaisercat, There's no contradiction in wanting a restaurant/winebar down by the barrier, as opposed to the medical centre. The medical centre was always going to generate more traffic and parking, whereas leisure facilities of this type attract a lot of foot traffic. Certainly not many people from lower Wivenhoe are going to drive there, and if its a good then the train could come into it's own for those further afield.

    Not likely that a fast food chain would have any interest, you really do need a lot of people to make that viable.

  • Plans formally submitted for this now:

    Not included in the web article is that Jonathan Frank doesn't wish to comment until the application is decided upon - which is very understandable I think!

  • Good though this news is, I wonder at the impact a '50 cover' restaurant will have on existing premises.
  • If it's good news why should you be concerned about other local restaurants?. You can't have it both ways.
  • I don't see a contradiction there. One can be happy to see more dining options made available whilst being concerned that the existing establishments might suffer in the long term.
    Without knowing the nature of the proposed restaurant (type of cuisine and so on) and how it will complement and/or compete with the others, it is quite reasonable to have mixed feelings.

    Personally, I still think there is a potential traffic issue there, albeit less severe than with the HC.

  • haven't looked through it yet myself, but  here it is
  • It does not look as if there will be anywhere to eat outside which is a pity given the location.
  • Here are the conclusions of the traffic impact report contained in the planning application:

    Traffic impact conclusions.jpg
    612 x 699 - 232K
  • I wish they would do a transport study in 2012/13. The traffic situation has become a lot worse!  I also wish the council would paint in the juction white lines, I have had several close calls with cars exiting St Johns Road without even a cursory glance towards Anglesea Road.

  • Ok - that takes care of the 'highway'.... what about the impact on adjoining properties, ie noise, smell.

    I'm sure the people who decided to live down on the Cooks shipyard never thought their neighbours would be eventually be a restaurant.


  • Apparently one traffic consultant wrote that Brook Street could reasonably take up to ONE HUNDRED cars ... per ... hour! (hysterical laughter)
  • I'm sure that's possible Liz, so long as it was solely one-way traffic, and they all processed neatly to park in the Colne (with rising sea levels perhaps amphibious cars are the answer: they could simply approach by river...?!)
  • Anything is possible when it comes to consultants who are anxious to please ... their clients, that is. (edited)
  • There is a need for a bistro type like Jardines which is open all day and where people can go for coffee and not just a meal. It could still serve only fish .Can this request go to the planners. I'n not sure how. I know I would feel disappointed to walk past and find it shut most of the day as many restaurants are.
  • Hope the coffee's better than Jardines. For my money, you have to travel far to better the coffee in the Tudor Tearoom.  Yum!   In fact, I can feeling a lovely coffee & home-bake calling, so shall just grab my coat...
  • The planning app for the restaurant is on the agenda [PDF] for the CBC Planning Committee meeting on 14th February.

    SEXY, etc.

    Item 7.1: Variation of Conditions 2 and 8 of application no. 091559 in order to include A3 restaurant use.

    Which is basically changing the use from retail to a restaurant.

    Skip to the conclusion and the recommendation from the Planning Officer is for a deferment, allowing for S106 funding on the existing agreement to be linked to the new application.

    Other details cover the submission from WTC:

    "Wivenhoe Town Council supports this application for local business venture. The Town Council is glad to see it is not residential development and the Town Council will not support any change of use at a later date to residential. It should be noted that the 21 space car park is under the Town Council’s jurisdiction and will become a Pay and Display car park."

    Nine letters of objection were received, including:

    "Insufficient parking provision.  Flaws in the traffic report which suggests no additional traffic between 8.00- 9.00 relatively little between 5.00-6.00 and the bulk between 13.00-14.00  and at weekends. No other hours have been considered the report also assesses the restaurants impact on traffic in and out of the village this is not the issue it  is the impact on the access roads to cooks shipyard.A restaurant was turned  down at the original application stage due to additional  traffic flow in an already heavily stretched traffic system.

    This restaurant will add traffic through a densely populated area through narrow winding streets.  Nothing has changed. Parking is insufficient most customers wil come in from outside not on foot or by bike."

    The report for the Planning Committee concludes:

    "Whilst residents have raised strong objections on traffic and parking grounds the Highway Authority has recommended approval of the application. It is considered this small restaurant will provide an acceptable mix of  uses on the water front and permission is recommended."

    This is an open meeting taking place at Colchester Town Hall at 6pm on the 14th. Speaking rights are limited. It is a HUGE agenda for this meeting, including the Queen Street old Police Station.

    Might be a late one.
  • This app went through en bloc at the start of Planning last night. No Cllr called it out, and there were no objections from the public.
  • Does that mean a restaurant will open there for definite, or is there more process to be...processed? 

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Wivenhoe Diary
Many thanks to Wivenhoe News for helping to source these dates
1 - 30 April, James Dodds exhibiting at Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe Bookshop
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11 April, Wivenhoe Watching Wildlife Springwatch, Sailing Club, 7:30 - 10pm
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25 April - start of Wild About Wivenhoe month. Various events centred around the Wildlife Garden. Full details to be published... when known!
25 April, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, open-air bicycle-powered cinema, bar, evening food, all at the Wildlife Garden
26 April, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife Dawn Chorus Walk, meet at 5am in the train station car park
26 April, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Art and Photography Exhibition themed around the Wildlife Garden, William Loveless Hall
26 April, Bird Walk with Richard Allen, Sailing Club, 10am
29 April, Moving Image, All is Lost, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
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3 May, WTFC Vs Diss, Broad Lane, 3pm
9 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, presentations about wildlife in gardens, and gardening for wildlife in Wivenhoe Library, presented by John Rowland, Glyn Evans & Chris Gibson
13 May, Moving Image, Nebraska, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
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16 May, Shipyard Studios, Inside Out, Keel House, 5 Walter Radcliffe Road, 3pm - 8pm
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29 June, Jazz on the Quay, 1pm