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'
  • edited November 2012

  • 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!
  • edited November 2012
    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....
  • edited November 2012
    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.
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