Plans to build a Costa Coffee drive-thru on the site of a hotel in Flintshire which was destroyed by fire have been recommended for approval.

It comes despite an earlier application to transform the former Gateway to Wales hotel site in Garden City being refused because of traffic concerns.

The proposals to create a drive-thru coffee shop, convenience store and two food retail outlets were resubmitted by developers Valedown Developments Ltd in April last year.

A fire tore through the 40-bedroom hotel, which was located just off the A494, in December 2017, which completely gutted the building.

It stood derelict for more than two years before the site was bought by the Manchester-based company in 2020.

Following the hotel's demolition, proposals were put forward to create four retail units in its place, but permission was rejected after Flintshire Council criticised the development firm's analysis of the impact on traffic.

However, the scheme has now been backed to go ahead by the local authority's chief planning officer following the submission of further details.

In a report which will go before councillors next week, Andrew Farrow said: “As members will be aware, the initial application was refused, with reason number one raising highway safety concerns.

“This application is now supported by further traffic assessments which factor in existing and committed new development within the immediate and surrounding area.

“A junction capacity assessment has also been undertaken which analyses the A494 slip road junction onto Welsh Road.

“The assessment shows that the development traffic will have a low residual cumulative impact on queuing, delay and capacity on Welsh Road.

“In consultation with Welsh Government and the local highway authority, it is considered that the access arrangements are suitable and safe, with adequate provision for car parking provided.”

Sealand Community Council has objected to the proposals on the grounds that it will lead to potential road safety problems.

Community councillors said there had already been a significant increase in traffic in the area following the creation of a new Amazon distribution centre nearby.

Christine Jones, county councillor for Sealand, has also raised concerns over the access arrangements.

However, Mr Farrow said the development would also deliver a number of economic benefits.

He added: “The proposal would see the refurbishment of an existing site within the settlement boundary of Garden City; a sustainable location which is supported by both national and local policies.

“The proposed refurbishment should be recognised as a valuable new investment within the local area, securing the provision of a greater range of local services and the creation of further employment opportunities.”

Members of the council's planning committee will make a decision on the application at their meeting on Wednesday (March 2, 2022).