The Big Issues: Sainsbury’s in Bollington

It was a busy night in the council office this past Tuesday where we saw a packed house eager to discuss the pre-application proposal of a new plan which many in Bollington feel very passionately about. This new proposal would see the demolition of the building that is occupied by The Bay Leaf Lounge that once used to be The Waggon and Horses pub at the bottom Grimshaw Lane.


Application is for this building, The Bay Leaf Lounge, Bollington.
Application is for this building, The Bay Leaf Lounge, Bollington.


The proposal has been put forward by Emery Planning, they state that they “have been working alongside Alison Pike Architects and RSK Transport Consultants to create a high quality scheme, which replicates the original architectural features of the existing building. This existing access and the car parking arrangement would be improved”. They argue in their proposal that the building has been extended on throughout the buildings history and the building has been left with several unattractive single storey extensions. They argue further that the building is the victim of an absence of maintenance and this has been the case for “a considerable time and has been subject to fire damage” and it is believed that some areas of the property are beyond repair. The final point they make is an important one in that “the building is energy inefficient”.

So what do they plan to do with it? Easy. Simply demolish the building and knock it to the ground. If successful, their plan would see a modern construction built which, in fairness does show some characteristics of its ancestor. Furthermore, the existing Indian restaurant, The Bay Leaf Lounge will continue to occupy the building, however, this will be on the 1st floor and on the ground floor a Sainsbury’s Local. In my opinion I’m not sure this is exactly the proverbial Phoenix rising from the Ashes.  You can see the full proposal by clicking here.

The current plot.
The current plot.


Now I will explain my concerns and share my comments on this proposal.

As soon as I received the proposal information my first concern was how this would impact an already treacherous area of road? The junction on Wellington Road turning to Grimshaw Lane is subject to a lot of traffic particularly School buses, local buses, Co-op delivery vans, Tullis Russell and Slater Harrison trucks as well as BC Transport wagons. I feel that this proposal would make a dangerous high traffic area even more hazardous. This would be because the level of cars travelling to the store would mean what is essentially a 3-way junction currently would lead to drivers attempting to negotiate the road in four directions instead of the already dangerous three. In my day job, I have to constantly consider risk, particularly risk of serious harm. But I feel there is a risk to road users as more people will be negotiating this junction and there are no plans to improve the traffic measures at this point either for pedestrians or drivers and that is something we must factor in to our decision making.

There were interesting points raised over whether full consultation had taken place with property owners by the developers (it appeared from what was said that it clearly HAD NOT happened in all cases). Also the potential negative knock on effects of the development on current retail and garage services was discussed It is a very difficult site to develop – Councillor Ken Edwards


Those traffic concerns lead me to think “Well, if the traffic is already bad, where on Earth will the delivery driver park?” I put my Sherlock Holmes hat on and critically observed and revised the proposed new footprint and the property would indeed be bigger. Furthermore it will also be more to the left (towards the Chinese and the Barbers) which means that the entrance to the car park will be between Barrow’s Butchers and the Bay Leaf Lounge. In someways there could be a benefit to this as the plans seem to demonstrate that two cars could get down this new entrance. As seen in the picture below, the new footprint shows the building will also be further back from it’s current plotting (the current plotting can be seen as the thinner line within the new build in the image). Which means, that the big delivery trucks will park on the footpath! That’s right Bollington, it seems that RSK Transport Consultants don’t think that parking a big delivery truck on an area which will crossover the footpath that is is used by the public and their children. That hasn’t so far seemed to be an issues with the planners? Other Councillors highlighted during the meeting that the drivers would no doubt be lazy and just pull in which could also pose risks to drivers coming down Henshall Road/Wellington Road around the bend past the MOT garage as this could impair sight of the road. The other concern of course would be for the drivers coming out of the new junction behind the new building. Although, we can not control the delivery drivers potential parking behaviour, it is important to consider the possible problems it could cause.

layout plan copy-30e481aa92
Spot the Difference? Look at this image and the one above. Notice how this  site is bigger and attains more land for the car park?


I also don’t think this plan is to scale, I doubt you could get that many cars in the car park now, let alone if the building was moved back. Considering the size of the car park spaces relative to the Grimshaw Lane junction, if it was to scale it would look as if it was dual carriage way.

I am concerned about how the presence of a Sainsburys Local would affect economic equilibrium of Bollington. Many employment sites in Bollington such as Chadwick’s Newsagents, Belfields Bakery, Heathcotes Butchers and Barrows Butchers, Brassingtons and even the Co-op are seen as a part of the community. I fear that something like Sainsburys could damage the long standing retail business’ here in Bollington. People may argue “But, Tom, don’t forget they are likely to create 20-25 new jobs in the Bollington area”. I would argue that those jobs could be filled by the jobs they take away from the people of Bollington and we should protect our local businesses. Someone at the meeting, did remind those in attendance that we are a loyal bunch and we will “vote with our feet” as for instance BollINKton didn’t last.

In many ways I can understand the decision behind this proposal. I am reminded of the 1956 Fred Gipson novel, Old Yeller.

Young Travis Coates has been left to take care of his family ranch with his mother and younger brother, Arliss, while his father goes off on a cattle drive in the late 1860’s in Texas. When a “dingy yellow” dog comes for an uninvited stay with the family, Travis reluctantly takes in the dog, which they name Old Yeller. The name has a double meaning: The fur color yellow pronounced as “yeller” and the fact that its bark sounds more like a human yell.

Though Travis initially loathes the “rascal” and at first tries to get rid of it, the dog eventually proves his worth, saving the family on several occasions, including saving Arliss from a bear, Travis from a bunch of wild hogs, and Mama and their friend Lisbeth from a loafer wolf. Travis grows to love this dog named Old Yeller, and they become great friends. The rightful owner of Yeller shows up looking for his dog and recognizing that the family has become attached to Yeller, trades the dog to Arliss for a home-cooked meal prepared by Travis’ mother, who is an exceptional cook.

Old Yeller becomes infected with rabies while saving his family from an infected wolf. Travis is forced to kill Yeller after the fight with the wolf, because he cannot risk Yeller’s becoming sick and turning on the family. Old Yeller had puppies with one of Travis’ friend’s dogs, and one of the puppies helps Travis get over Old Yeller’s death. They take in the new dog and try to begin a fresh start.

On one hand, just as I agree with what Sandra Edwards eloquently argued at the meeting last Tuesday, we have a tremendous building in the heart of Bollington and we must protect buildings such as these. On the other hand, the building is in need of some TLC which is hard to repair if our source is to be believed. But, if the building has less utility to offer the Town of Bollington what can we do with it?

Currently, I am in both camps. As much as I am proud of Bollington’s rich history and stunning solid architectural heritage I feel that this building itself is similar to my Old Yeller metaphor. I feel that the building has served it’s duty as one of the most recognisable pubs in Bollingtons history as the Waggon and Horses and now currently as the Bay Leaf Lounge and if it can not carry on with effective utility, safely or efficiently then maybe we take our “Old yeller” out back and do what needs to be done. With that being said, I also do not want a Sainsbury’s Local to be built as it’s replacement.


what are your thoughts? – share this using the links below or comment on here.

16 thoughts on “The Big Issues: Sainsbury’s in Bollington

  1. We dont need another supermarket in bollington. we have everything we need from the small local shops we already have and the Co-Op. I think the current building needs a face lift and maybe turned back to a pub. Maybe a weatherspoons this would bring much needed jobs to the area and it wouldnt effect the local shops neither it might even boost the shops are the pub could source some of there supplies from the shops.. imagine on the menu a belfields belcher washed down with a local ale.


  2. Stupid idea, it will cause alot of traffic, it’s bad enough on that road ,it’s a pretty village leave it alone, quite
    happy with our local shops ,imagine more lorries delivery stocks, bad enough doing co_op, with a disaster
    car park and them new houses that look out of place, no character at all .


  3. Proposed Redevelopment Of Bay Leaf
    I am very concerned about the above and the affect it will have to road safety in the area. I was a Lollipop man by the old Co-op briefly just over 2 years ago. One morning a regular lady and her 2 children were half way across when a 35cwt van came from Macc direction doing about 40mph. I shouted for them to stop and held my arm out to stop them proceeding and moved out of the way my self. He stopped inches from the crossing. I’m 6ft 3in, had bright yellow coat, hat and stop sign, I’m convinced to this day they would all have been hit had I not been there and at that speed all 3 of them would probably have been killed.
    Furthermore it is almost certain that it will lead to on street parking as there does not appear to be sufficient space.
    Traffic in mornings already backs up to the end of our road , caused by traffic turning right into Grimshaw Lane


  4. I lived in Bollington many years ago and the traffic was awful then. Take the history of what Sainsbury’s did in Macclesfield and you have your answer. Best wishes.


  5. Keep Sainsburys and all national chains out of Bollington – including Wetherspoons! Local shops and businesses run by locals for locals!


  6. This is an awful idea-we don’t need another convenience store in Bollington and particularly not at that location. Having lived at the lower end of Grimshaw Lane when it was still a pub, I know too well how busy that junction is and would be very worried about children crossing the road for the buses to school and about the impact the store would have on local businesses. Keep the big stores in Macclesfield and leave our local stores safe.


  7. I like the idea of competition to the Co-op (they do have a monopoly) but not here. The Waggon and Horses is one of the few actual notable buildings in Bollington and deserves preservation – at the very least the façade. Perhaps the other end of Bollington would benefit from a similar development at the Viceroy?


  8. Mike, I agree with previous comments that this proposal is neither needed or wanted. However we don’t own the building and previous objections to planning around Bollington have not been successful di what can we actually do ?? Does this fit in with the Town plan .. Is there where we should start ?


  9. Some very negative comments. Why can’t we support local businesses and have a small chain store. There are a lot of new houses being built in the town the families moving in these may not all be local. Bring some employment into the area. People are so frightened of change!
    If poynton can manage the A6 running through the middle of it. Why can’t we manage the traffic?
    If we don’t support this and the building falls into disrepair then we lose a valuable local business.


  10. very simply, it is an impractical idea because both entrances/exits are on a blind bend…. It would be too dangerous to build a shop that will attract a constant flow of vehicles. I agree that a pub or restaurant would be the best option…. But not a wetherspoons….. That would open up a whole new can of worms!


  11. New houses being built we need to support this plan let me say why.Since we have moved into Bollington which we love living here I must say that the town has already lost several public houses ,The Redway,the Royal Oak Queens arms,The meridian, The Red lion the local fish and chip shop the Plaice The local Chinese take away-all supported by the local towns folk perhaps we don’t support the local business as well as we can.So Perhaps this might bring extra busines to the local butchers hair dresser that are around the area.No where did it say they had brought any car park space from any one only that they would improve the parking for all users.But I have witnessed customers blocking the enterance to the car park because it was perhaps to far to walk to the shop they was using .To close this I must say that some customers even park on the yellow lines out side the shops or the footpath.Rant over but think forward not back the Wagon and Horses went 10 years ago perhaps one more public house that closed because of a business review by the brewery..


  12. This proposal is completely insane.
    I live in close proximity to the old CoOp site on the corner of Wellington Road and Albert Road and after the council approved its ridiculous extension was one of the many who suffered greatly from their complete lack of foresight. It took a long battle to get their ridiculous decision rectified and the CoOp moved to its current sight.
    The main reason for my objection is, of course, parking and deliveries. The proposed car park is just not suitable for the shoppers that this will attract, many from out of Bollington.
    I can absolutely guarantee that shoppers will NOT use the car-park, even if it were of adequate size. Its entrance and exit will be difficult to manoeuvre, they will not be able to see whether there are any spaces available and will just park anywhere they want. Like they did around the CoOp.
    (Double yellows will make no difference. The council is responsible for enforcing these and they don’t.) Add the many delivery trucks, and they will be arriving around the clock, just as we were promised they wouldn’t at the CoOp but just like they did, and this junction will be a traffic nightmare and a death-trap.
    Have the council learned nothing from the CoOp experience? Why would this be any different? A better solution needs to be found.


  13. I think the plan is to scale. At the moment customers of WRG park their cars in the car park. Glossing over whether this is a gentleman’s agreement with the owners of the plot or otherwise, there is currently parking for eight cars along the right hand wall. All that’s been lost with the slightly bigger building is access down the side opposite WRG.

    And of course, Barrows have asked for new plans to be drawn up as they have categorically stated on Facebook that they won’t be selling their land as shown on the plan. That makes the parking issue a whole lot more problematic. Aside from WRG customers now having to park on the road, probably up Grimshaw lane.


  14. And finally, I do believe that Bollington does need another small supermarket but this isn’t the place to put it for the obvious traffic reasons and because it’s so close to co-op. The plot at Ovenhouse Lane would have been ideal but I believe that’s become more houses


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