Bentley Motors, Sunnybank Road entrance, Crewe (Google) (1)

Bentley Motors needs to crackdown on workers who clog up residential streets rather than parking on the company’s car parks, say councillors.

The luxury car manufacturer was given permission by Cheshire East’s strategic planning board to build a new paint shop at its Crewe campus and two link bridges over Sunnybank Road.

But much of the debate centred around parking – and those employees who refuse to use the company car park and instead clog up nearby streets so they can make a quick getaway after work.

At one point it looked as if that issue might delay the planning application as Crewe councillor Anthony Critchley (Lab) asked for it to be deferred so a survey could be done of workers parking on the surrounding streets.

Eventually it was decided to impose a condition requiring Bentley’s existing travel plan to be revised to try and ensure the company take appropriate action to deal with the parking issue.

Parking was being debated because the new development includes building on a campus car park to the west of the existing paint shop to provide the new 22.5m high paint shop building and attached offices.

This would involve the loss of 858 parking spaces.

According to the planning officer’s report to the meeting, a survey carried out by Bentley revealed there would still be approximately 200 vacant spaces at the busiest time after the proposed building had been constructed.

But Cllr Critchley told the meeting: “Whilst there may be over-provision of car parking [on site] that’s because they’re parking on the streets.”

He said he had received complaints over a number years.

“And I know that Bentley have had conversations within the community and they’ve had conversations with councillors and they’re going to do this and they’re going to do that, they haven’t done it,” he said.

“I’m not saying we should make a stand by refusing this application today, but what I am saying is we need to have a really good look at the parking situation.”

Cllr Steve Edgar (Haslington, Con) said he worked for the local MP and they received numerous complaints about Bentley staff parking on nearby streets.

He said there’s a controlled gate at the entrance to the campus and members of Bentley staff shouldn’t be allowed through that gate unless they live on the estate.

“It can be controlled by the pass and the parking will be resolved. If you can’t get in through the gate you’ll have to park on the car park,” he said.

Planning officers agreed a S106 condition could be imposed.

And highways officer Paul Griffiths told the meeting: “We’ll take a snapshot of the existing problems… and then we’ll work with Bentley to implement these measures… and over the course of the next couple of years actually monitor to see if the parking on those roads is getting better.”

The application for the paint shop and two link bridges was unanimously approved with conditions, including the revised travel plan.

A separate application from Bentley to demolish an existing temporary industrial warehouse and build an integrated logistics centre including a covered logistics route, internal amenity and office annex on the Crewe campus was also unanimously approved.

(Pic courtesy of Google Maps)

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