LiveLive: Bolton Council planning committee meeting - March 6, 2014

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , politics reporter

This live event has finished

Summary

  • Applications to be discussed today:
  • Controversial plans to build a Sainsbury's and two other shops at the old Green Bengal restaurant in Bromley Cross.
  • A wind turbine – half the height of Blackpool Tower – which could be built at a Turton farm.
  • A sports pavilion at Bolton Wanderers Academy Land in Lostock.
  • Plans to erect a timber building for horses and agricultural equipment in Horwich — previously compared to a "concentration camp" by Horwich town councillors.

5:53pm

And we're done! Sadly before I've cracked the humbug ring, but I'll work out who is responsible, one day. Thanks for following - I'm off back to the office to write up the copy. Keep checking the paper and website as ever for the full story and reaction of today's applications. Over and out,

5:51pm

Redrow Homes own the site - they've already agreed to pay £12,615 to creating new primary school places in Horwich and £10,000 for highways improvements.

5:48pm

Members of the planning committee have deferred the application. Cllr. Norman Critchley has pointed out that it's much less than what was originally agreed and he wants developers to the original agreement - that is, four affordable units on site, or the equivalent sum of money.

5:47pm

This time they've asked instead of providing four affordable houses on the site that they give £30,000 as a commuted sum for affordable housing

5:45pm

We've just been hearing about an application in relation to the former Swallowfield Hotel. Regular readers of this paper will know councillors knocked back a bid to change the terms of a Section 103 agreement - the developers have come back again.

5:44pm

Sorry for the delay, the IPad is having a meltdown! The Ummah Welfare application was approved.

5:27pm

Next one is an application from the Ummah Welfare Trust, who want to be allowed to open 24 hours a day. It is an international charity, that coordinates and fundraisies following disasters around the world, and says it needs to be able to work across all time zone

5:24pm

It's been approved unanimously. I'll look into that application in more detail for the paper ASAP.

5:21pm

It's been approved unanimously. I'll look into that application in more detail for the paper ASAP.

5:17pm

Cllr Nick Peel said: "We can't underestimate the importance of this application - it's one of the most important parts of regeneration scheme for the town centre."

5:15pm

Cllr John Byrne has asked for a condition to be added that an important part of  Bolton's industrial heritage - namely, marks in the road where cutters used to turn their carts - is protected.

5:13pm

Cllr Linda Thomas has moved approval. She says this part of town is an eyesore, and she personally thinks this is going to be the best the councl will get out of the land.

5:06pm

Mr Colin Griffiths is speaking for the application now.

5:05pm

A Labour source has also told me that I am wrong about the instigator of the humbug ring. The plot thickens.

5:03pm

... And checking the papers outline consent was given in 2003.

5:02pm

The council officer has said this application has been hanging around  "like a bad smell" - it was initially submitted in 2006.

5:01pm

There's a long history of applications on this plot - Cllr John Byrne just getting clarification on some of the issues before we hear from developers.

5:01pm

Next one is plans for a part seven storey, part ten storey building in land at Bark Steeet/St Helena Road.

Lots of plans for this development including warehouse, office, 16 three-bed apartments, cafe and space for 490 car parking spaces and basement car parking for 38 spaces 

4:52pm

We're almost three hours into the meeting. I've identified Cllr Guy Harkin as the mastermind behind the humbug ring, by the rustling of sweet wrappers as he moves his council papers

4:45pm

They want the applicant to stick to the original Section 106 agreement.

4:43pm

It's been deferred.

4:43pm

Cllr Nick Peel moving for deferment to send a strong message to the applicant that they want three affordable houses on the site plus a commuted sum towards education

4:42pm

Cllr Guy Harkin accusing the Diocese of Salford is playing a game of poker with the council - while Cllr Bob Allen is asking whether it's really a matter for the planning committee. "It's not a planning application, it's a commercial offer."

4:36pm

Cllr Bob Allen said he doesn't think it is the place of planning committee to debate Section 106 agreement in public. "It's totally wrong", he says.

4:34pm

Cllr Nick Peel says "we need to stick to our guns on this". The original Section 106 was- three affordable units on site, £68,575 commuted sum towards education, £6,540 towards health and £31,980 sum towards open space

4:32pm

Cllr Lynda Byrne say she wants to go for option A, but wants a fourth option that would include a contribution to education

4:31pm

Claire Morris speaking for the application. She said the property market is very different to when the proposal was approved, and is offering...

a. Three affordable homes on site with no financial contributions to Bolton Council

b. 2 affordable houses and a £15,000 financial contribution

c. 1 affordable house on site and £68,575 payment

4:28pm

The Diocese of Salford are asking for more time to build 30 houses at the old site of St Andrew's RC Primary School in Withins Drive

4:27pm

It's been moved for refusal... but it's been approved.

4:25pm

Residents have complained that having a 15m high mast would be a very unwelcome visual intrusion into the street scene.

4:21pm

They've all been approved. Last one to go with is much controversial to the rest - land at Deepdale Road, BL2. This has attracted four letters of objection.

4:19pm

Approved. The Vodafone representative is staying put - there's quite a few applications for phone masts, including at Newbrook Road BL5, St George's Road BL1 and Bishops Road BL3

4:09pm

Cllr Alan Walsh is supporting the application. He said it's a shame the extra cabinets used to hold equipment can't be reduced, but still moves for approval.

4:06pm

A representative from Vodafone is now speaking - he says the new mast won't just boost basic mobile phone coverage, but will also help users of 4G mobile internet.

4:05pm

Now looking at the proposal for a 15m high telephone mast relaxing a 13.8m high one, in land at Plodder Lane, Farnworth

4:03pm

It's been approved - this was the final piece of the puzzle for the development of the Bolton Wanderers academy land off Ox Hey Lane, Lostock

4:02pm

Onto the debate. Cllr Cunliffe said she personally had concerns bout the application when it was first discussed in December. "it is disappointing that a green roof to the pavilion is not achieveable, but I must accept these reasons."

3:58pm

Richard Gee speaking on behalf of Wanderers. He said to create the pond they would have to pump water up hill at least 100 metres.

He adds: "We can't actually deliver the two conditions, and even if we did it would make very little environmental difference."

3:56pm

The next application is related to Bolton Wanderers Academy Land, Councillors had asked the Wanderers developers to go away and see if a green roof could be put on the proposed sports pavilion, and also look at creating a pond for the wildlife. However, they've said it hasn't been possible,

3:54pm

Application is approved - and I wouldn't be surprised if a few of the councillors put themselves on the waiting list for homes!

3:52pm

This site is just by Queen's Park, and Cllr  Nick Peel is saying it will make it an attractive place for people to move, when a more detailed plan goes in.

Cllr Norman Critchley agrees, adding: "it's a wonderful site with a wonderful backdrop to Queen's Park."

3:51pm

As it's an outline application there's no big details - so could be just houses, or might be a mix of two bed flats and town houses

3:50pm

IPad is suddenly being difficult, please bear with me!

3:49pm

... houses aT the site by Minerva House in Chorley Street 

3:49pm

Next councillors are looking at an outline planning application to build up to 65

3:41pm

Councillors have approved making part of Bolton Road in Kearsley into a residential garden, despite concerns from neighbours that it will exacerbate a dangerous junction.

3:30pm

Humbug update- the sweets have reached the front bench of Labour.

3:24pm

Moving to a vote now - it's been refused by a majority.

3:23pm

Moving to a vote now - it's been refused by a majority.

3:21pm

Cllr Nick Peel, in charge of environmental services at Bolton Council, saying the subject of wind turbines is divisive locally and nationally. 

"There is an energy crisis in this country, and unless there is major investment the lights will go out," he said.

"I would prefer that a decision is made by government on this.

"I would like to see a ruling from the Secretary of State because it will help us in the future about how to deal with these types of application."

3:17pm

Cllr Bob Allen: "There are not exceptional circumstances for this development, so it's a lump of steel in the green belt."

3:16pm

Cllr Guy Harkin said officers are recommending refusal, therefore there isn't a borough wide impact, so he's going to listen to the local councillors and vote against.

3:14pm

Cllr Elaine Sherrington speaking now, saying that turbines look a lot nicer than electrical pylons, which currently runs through the land. "I voted for it last time, I'm going to vote for it again."

3:12pm

It's been moved for refusal by Cllr Dean, and seconded by Cllr Connell.

3:11pm

In other news, the Labour bench are slying passing around a bag of humbugs as the debate rages on.

3:10pm

Cllr Walter Hall has blasted the proposed wind turbine as a 'monster on the moors'. He said: "It's not about being green, it's about being greedy, all at the expense of the local community."

3:03pm

Councillor for Bradshaw Stuart Haslam speaking. He said it's worth noted that three MPs have blasted the plans, which he believes won't help the local community at all

He said:  "The lives of the people living so close will be blighted.

"There will be a diabolical impact on the openness of the landscape.

"The local community have spoken loudly and clearly against this."

2:58pm

Lots of applause for opposer Graham Rushett as he speaks against the application. He said: "W have had over 150 genuine local letters of objections.

"There is no exceptional circumstances to justify this turbine, with the applicant admitting it would have a detrimental impact on the surrounding area."

2:54pm

Mr Paton speaking for it now. He said recent weather events have shown how we need to reduce a dependency on oil and gas. He said: " In my mind it would be to be carrying on importing energy.

"I wish to be carbon neutral, and this turbine would allow me to do that."

2:50pm

This is being recommended for refusal by Bolton Council planning officers, who says it's inappropriate for the green belt.

2:49pm

It's a controversial one this one - 132 objections as well as three local MPs and five councillors, against 300 letters in support. 

2:48pm

We're onto discussions about a proposed wind turbine off Birches Road in Turton. 

2:46pm

It's gone to a vote - and it's been approved. 

 

2:46pm

But Cllr Guy Harkin has moved to refusal, having noted that Horwich councillor Richard Sylvester opposes it. He said it's important to take the views of local people into account - and that Bolton at the centre should listen to the views of local councillors and people.

2:42pm

Councillors debating it now, and it's being moved for approval. "There is a genuine need for this buildings. I do not feel this proposal will detriment the  openness, character or the appearance of the green belt" said Cllr Cunliffe.

2:39pm

This is green belt land, so there needs to be special circumstances to be allowed to built on them. Opposer John Lawton says there aren't any, and that the building will be damaging to the local landscape

2:37pm

Gillian Kaskel, speaking on behalf of it now. She says they've spent a lot of time and energy improving the land, and that they lost four ewes last winter because they weren't able to bring them in from the cold 

2:34pm

Next up is the 'portal-framed' building for housing livestock and agricultural equipment in the land at Cotswold Drive in Horwich - the one panned as looking like 'a concentration camp' at Horwich Town Council, who objected.

2:32pm

It's been refused! That's a bit of a shock. Clapping and murmurs from the public gallery.

2:31pm

He's moved for refusal. "I want a good development. the people of Bromley Cross want a good development but not at any cost."

2:30pm

Discussion now up for debate. Cllr Norman Critchley, also a Bromley Cross councillor, saying that with the current Coop there ie not enough car parking - meaning it spills onto residential roads.

2:27pm

Cllr David Greenhalgh, who represents Bromley Cross, said nobody wants the site to be developed more than him, but the portion of Darwen Road has previously been described  as an accident blacksot by police.

He adds: "I absolutely want it developed but three outlets on that site, with 20 staff proposed at that Sainsbury's, means there is not enough car parking.

"It's very important that we get the right development or it will lead to real, considerable problems with road safety."

2:18pm

He adds that there has been metal thefts from the site, so someone has been on site to protect it. He said no work has started on the site, and has had a little pop at the Bolton News coverage of the application.

2:15pm

Andrew Watt speaking for it now. He said the developers have met with officers and that they agree that the site has enough car parking space.

2:13pm

Recommendation from officers is to approve.

2:12pm

We're off, and first up is plans for the Green Bengal restaurant in Bromley Cross. This was deferred from the last planning meeting to see whether the developers would remove some of the units to creat e more car parking, but CW Construction said they don't want to change the application.

2:04pm

All in all 23 applications to be discussed and the public gallery is full with people looking to speak. I think it's going to be a long one today folks...

2:03pm

Lots of interesting applications up for discussion, including a stable described as looking like a 'concentration camp' by Horwich town councillors, a final decision on the old Green Bengal restaurant in Bromley Cross and a proposed wind turbine in Turton farmland that is as tall as the Town Hall

2:01pm

That's what is up for discussion today - a mammoth 300 page document with all the officers reports included.

2:01pm

The Bolton News:

2:00pm

Afternoon all, it's Elaine here. We're settling into the council chamber and waiting for the meeting to start. Regular followers of this blog will be happy to know I've worked out how to post updates not in bold! Hooray!

1:49pm

Hello everone. The meeting is due to start at 2pm.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:30pm Thu 6 Mar 14

adatherton says...

Like the update system. You should do it more.
Like the update system. You should do it more. adatherton
  • Score: 6

3:41pm Thu 6 Mar 14

steverock6@sky.com says...

Thanks for the update its a great idea and I hope it is done at other meetings

I notice that yet again an application refused at Horwich council has been ignored another example of Bolton council ignoring the feelings of Horwich people!
Thanks for the update its a great idea and I hope it is done at other meetings I notice that yet again an application refused at Horwich council has been ignored another example of Bolton council ignoring the feelings of Horwich people! steverock6@sky.com
  • Score: -1

3:49pm Thu 6 Mar 14

adatherton says...

Haha sweets arrive, and they start approving. Note to lobbyists : pass out sweets
Haha sweets arrive, and they start approving. Note to lobbyists : pass out sweets adatherton
  • Score: 1

4:11pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Julian Thorpe says...

adatherton wrote:
Like the update system. You should do it more.
Thanks. We're aiming to cover every major Bolton Council meeting and planning committee in this way, as well as various other events.
[quote][p][bold]adatherton[/bold] wrote: Like the update system. You should do it more.[/p][/quote]Thanks. We're aiming to cover every major Bolton Council meeting and planning committee in this way, as well as various other events. Julian Thorpe
  • Score: 3

9:15pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Bradshaw Bugler says...

Cllr Elaine Sherrington must have had the whole bag of humbugs in her mouth when she declared that wind turbines are a lot nicer than electricity pylons! Sorry luv but pylons don't move, whereas wind turbines annoyingly draw the eye as the blades turn round.... and what was all that guff about 1000s of wind turbines in Yosemite National Park? What's that got to do with it or even anything? And Cllr Kellett? Strewth what an aggressive woman! Didn't like us in the public gallery one bit! Mind you we didn't like her! Took the side of Farmer Paton in no uncertain terms!
Cllr Elaine Sherrington must have had the whole bag of humbugs in her mouth when she declared that wind turbines are a lot nicer than electricity pylons! Sorry luv but pylons don't move, whereas wind turbines annoyingly draw the eye as the blades turn round.... and what was all that guff about 1000s of wind turbines in Yosemite National Park? What's that got to do with it or even anything? And Cllr Kellett? Strewth what an aggressive woman! Didn't like us in the public gallery one bit! Mind you we didn't like her! Took the side of Farmer Paton in no uncertain terms! Bradshaw Bugler
  • Score: 1

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