It was half term and so a quieter week than normal. However, it was dominated by a particularly heavy Planning and Development Meeting on Thursday.
Sometimes you just have to site-visit
Google Earth is a great resource for planning committee members but sometimes you’ve just got to get on your bike and go and see. So I took trips out to Altrincham and Partington.
Application for variation of Erection of detached dwelling, following demolition of existing garage block on eastern side of Greenbank House.
Greenbank is quite an impressive mansion on Altrincham’s Downs. It already had been converted to flats and the landowners had planning permission to build a separate single storey detached apartment in place of the garage block. Construction was well underway but it hadn’t been built to plan.
The planning officers recommended approval of the new plans. The temptation might be to refuse on the basis that they frankly had taken liberties in building something different. However, the changes weren’t radical, it wasn’t as though they’d built more storeys. You have to ask whether the plans now such that you would not have approved them had they come to planning committee in this form initially? In this instance I felt I would have voted to grant the application and so I was content to approve. The developer though takes a huge risk in not building to approved plans.
Cycling to Partington is not my favourite journey. The A6144 is a nasty piece of road; too narrow and too fast. The pavements have really high kerbs and you ride in fear of being taken out through too close a pass.
When I have used a bus to get to Partington, the service has been infrequent and in this weather I don’t suffer long waits at bus stops willingly, so I end up risking it on the bike.
The application was to convert a disused nursing home on the A6144 into a mini-housing estate, utilising the existing building and adding an extension to get four houses out of the site as well as a new separate bungalow at the back.
The issue was parking. Planning officers had recommended approval.
This is where planning rules get messy because the Local Highways Authority objected due to under provision of a single on-site parking space. This under provision against a maximum by one space. We don’t have a minimum provision but Local Highways officers can take a view as to the impact on the highways network. And we’re back to the A6144 being too fast and too narrow, so we don’t want overflow parking out on the main road.
Anywhere but Partington, I think I would have wanted to allow the application as it was presented. We really do need to provide decent public transit for Partington. I’d love to encourage more to use their bikes but that main road really is horrible. So we’re left with a place dreadfully reliant on the car. That’s not going to be sustainable as we close down our city to petrol and diesel over the next decade or so.
We deferred this particular application as we were advised it may be possible to get that extra space into the scheme but it’s not really the long term answer, is it?
This is an application to build up to 400 (Four Hundred) dwellings on open land. The land which is situated beyond the southern edge of the built up area of Partington. The site extends to approximately 24.8 hectares and spans two parcels of land which are separated by the route of Warburton Lane (which divides the site on a north/south axis).
The developers Redrow Homes have appealed against non-determination by the council within the timeframe. It now goes to inquiry.
The applicant’s decision to submit a non-determination appeal came at a time when negotiations were continuing in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues; a process that it was understood both parties were committed to.
To grant planning permission on this ad hoc basis for up to 400 dwellings, and on greenfield in the absence of supporting infrastructure would be at odds with central planning principles in the NPPF of providing sustainable development.
The planning committee determined that it would have opposed and that should be the council’s stance at the inquiry commencing 21st April 2020.
- The Market Hall Urmston
- Football pitches and supporting infrastructure adjacent to Soccer Dome, Trafford Park
- Soccer Dome to become new location for Event City, Trafford Park
I wasn’t allowed to determine this one because I was supporting it. Approval was granted for the Wine Bar on Davyhulme Road East next to Della Roma. I was pleased that the committee agreed with me that the hours of opening should be allowed until 11pm (12 at weekend) rather than the 10pm proposed by officers. I’m hoping the new wine bar will be a welcome enhancement to our street scene.
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