Live blog: Bolton Council planning meeting - May 1, 2014
This live event has finished
- To be discussed at this afternoon's meeting:
- A vision for a restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the basement of the Market Place, as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment.
- Plans for a new "landmark" three-storey mosque to replace the Sughra Mosque in Granville Street, Farnworth.
- The future of the Bolton Community College and plans for a 140 new homes to be built in its place.
- Retrospective approval for 14 commercial units at Blackrod Industrial Estate built without planning permission.
And we're done folks. Thanks as ever for following & make sure you check te paper and website for the full stories and reaction
Cllr Critchley also requesting that council enforcement officers go down to make sure the site is safe. I'll need to check this but members are alluding to the fact that there's no fire escape and debris all over the site.
Looking like it's going to be deferred... and it is.
Cllr John Walsh want deferrment to "concentrate minds" and get proper, tough regulations in place
Cllr Morgan saying it's "gobsmacking" that these units are up. Leading the calls for building regulations to get involved and make the buildings it for employment, and he's going against officers to ask for refusal, to send a message to people who build without proper planning permission
Blackrod Town Council have objected to this application
The units - including a gym, piping contractor & computer service repair - are being used and are bringing employment
Last application now, retrospective permission for 14 units in Blackrod Indistrial Estate. Application came in after an enforcement complaint
Cllr Bob Allen also spoke to say he has no problem with the mosque. "There is no doubt it stands out, and that is what landmarks should do."
To recap (I was furiously scribbling? Cllr Peel said he wanted to make clear that they are strictly governed by planning legislation. The council does not build churches or mosques - they come from a demand in the community.
Lots of debate there and was furiously scribbling - the plan has been approved, subject to delegation from the director
Cllr Spencer pointing out during the debate that a mosque has been there since the 1970s
Bryn Morgan speaking against it. Says he objects to the aesthetics of the mosque, and that a mosque should not be a gateway to Farnworth. Adds that he sees this as the further Islamification of the country. (note - The Bolton News understands Bryn Morgan is associated with the English Defence League)
Three letters of support and one letter of objection about this one
Currently 75 per cent of users of the mosque walk to it, and officer says there will be an impact on the neighbouring Victorian terraces
Another big application now, plans for the Sughra Mosque in Farnworth
Onto the vote - they're taking all three applications at the same time. They have all been approved!
Cllr Dean now - "this is what is going to regenerate our town centre"
Cllr Norman Critchley saying that the scheme will be a 'kick' for Bolton, and adds he too is absolutely delighted with it - not least because it preserves the much-loved Market Hall. Council should be praised for its patience waiting for the right scheme to come along
Cllr Morgan now, welcoming the fact that the developers are ready to go. it's about improving the night time offer in the town centre. A really exciting proposal, he adds.
Cllr Morris welcoming it too - pointing out it's in his ward. Also says he hopes the stone fringes that could be lost in the development will be found another place in the town centre
"Who knows, the amount of binge drinking might go down" she adds (optimistically)
Now we're onto the debate. Cllr Linda Thomas says cinema is something we've needed in the town for a long time and will bring 'vibrancy' to the town
Talked about how they've consulted with key businesses, the university, schools and college to find out what they wanted.
Tim Vaughan, chief of the Moorgarth group, just spoken for the application. Says they are absolutely committed to delivering the scheme, which will be not just a boost for Bolton but become a 'regional destination'
(Sorry principle of a cinema in Market Place)
Only one late objection from agents of Crompton Place, which officers say boils down to an objection against the principle of a cinema
Shopping centre at the moment is a 'light touch' on the Grade-II listed building, whereas plans to open up the vaults in the building are a 'severe cut'
... And it's been deferred. Now it's time for the Market Place applications, there's three in total but they are going to be discussed together
Cllr Bob Allen pointing out there's no concrete plans for the school to expand
Cllr McKeon (not on the committee) asking members to defer, to give St Mary's and the developers time to complete negotiations about whether there could be an exchange of land
John Shanton, chair of govenors at St Mary's primary school, said if plans are approved there won't be any room for them to expand
Paul Smith speaking for the application now. Says none of the issues raised are unprecedented, and the land is allocated for housing
23 letters from residents & Horwich Town Council have objected, but it's recommended for approval
The former playing field on the site, and officers have concluded that the loss of the field would be acceptable
It's only outline permission, so we don't have any details about how the houses will look or be laid out.
Now councillors are looking at a big one - outline application for 140 homes at Bolton Community College in Horwich
I should point out this is the last committee meeting before the elections, so expect a lot of input from members...
Cllr Morgan moving approval, said he hasn't had any representations made to him about the plans (it comes under his ward)
First up, an application to build a four bed house on land adjacent to 2 Hillcrest, Atherton. It's a resubmission of a previously approved scheme, but there's changes inc extending the width of the house by 1.5m & replacing a boundary hedge with a fence
And we're off. Going through interests and fire procedure
We're almost ready to start
Another big one up for discussion is the plan for 140 new homes at the old site of Bolton Communit College in Horwich. Lots of letters of objection against this one.
Crompton Place have formally objected to the scheme, claiming that no independent consultant report was carried out before the Market Place scheme came to committee. Keep checking the blog & see tomorrow's paper for more detail on that
Meanwhile Moorgarth's ambitious plans for The Market Place will be in the spotlight again. They've had to re-apply for permission for the cinema due to a design change, and are looking for permission to open up the vaults and make the space suitable for restaurants & bars
Plans to knock down Sughra Mosque in Farnworth and replace it with a three-storey new mosque look set to be approved
The officers are taking ther seats & we're waiting on the councillors, which gives me time to run through what's on the cards this afternoon
Afternoon all, welcome to another thrilling installment of Bolton Council's planning committee. As ever there's lots of interesting applications on the agenda and I will bring you the decisions as they happen.
Good afternoon. The meeting is due to start at 2pm.
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