Live: Bolton Council planning meeting - July 3, 2014 - including Astley Bridge mosque plans
This live event has finished
- We bring you live updates from Bolton Council's planning committee meeting today. Among the applications being considered are:
- A large mosque off Blackburn Road, including a dome, minaret tower and 19 classrooms.
- A controversial five-bedroomed house in Lostock - before the planning committe for the thirteenth time as the developer tries to save it from a demolition order.
- Plans for more than 300 new homes on a rundown industrial estate in Tonge Moor.
- The meeting, which is due to start at 2pm, has been moved from the council chamber to the festival hall to accommodate the large number of people expected to attend because of interest in the Astley Bridge mosque.
And that's all from us today, from one of the more eventful planning meetings. Thanks for joining us.
5:26pm Thu 3 Jul 14
I'm absolutely disgusted! I have been refreshing this feed. The meeting finishes at 6pm. But does the writer finish at 5? Just randomly stops reporting! DISGRACE!
Sorry about that Victoria - we had some technical problems earlier. The meeting has now finished. The only thing you've missed is a couple of minor house extensions.
UPDATE - Victoria - I've just e-mailed you...
Described as too imposing. It's refused
Recommended for refusal
204 Manchester Road, Westhoughton extension up now
Extension on 3 Dover Grove being discussed now. Recommended for refusal. Unacceptable loss of light one of the grounds
Application refused by just one vote despite recommended for approval
Cllr Connell describes it as overbearing as it is
With regard to the last application Cllr Sherrinton said risks needed to be assessed with regard to storage of bins, given fatal fires caused by wheelie bins fires
Another single storey extension up now. This time 174 Armadale Road.
Cllr Peel supported it saying much of it came under the law of general permitted development, only a small part needed permission.
under the law householders can build, in most cases, up to their boundary lines.
Cllr Walsh says he is not happy because causes terracing effect. He moves refusal, and Cllr Sherrington says unusually she supports Cllr Walsh causing laughs
They were from most affected neighbours
Single storey extension on 126 Ainsworth Lane has had three objections.
Voting for deferral now, and it's passed
Cllr Peel is in philosophical mood now, pointing out that while this house has come before the committee many times before, it is still their responsibility to treat each application on its own merit, he sees with Cllr Allen and seconds deferral
Cllr Allen criticises the plans presented as inadequate and recommends the committee defer until much more information is provided
He points out that it has yet to be demolished
Cllr Allen reminds the committee that there is a planning enforcement in place to demolish the house and that these plans are for when that has happened
Big issue is car parking and Cllr Allen says cars used need to be parked within the curtilidge of the property, not on the road as it will cause visibility issues for those exiting nearby roads
Says his priority is to get this finished
Cllr Bob Allen knows the history of this one well, he opens his remarks with 'here we go again'
He says there are inaccuracies in the report
Resident Neil Atkinson is speaking now
Objectors have said the driveway is too narrow, which Mr Berry agrees with
And here's another pic, showing some of the alteration work:
Here's the house:
A late objection has been received from the Lostock residents group regarding parking issues
Planning officer Jon Berry is discussing some highways concerns about the driveway to the property
Here's the background
Another biggie now, it's the application for a house at Regent Road that is coming before the committee for a whopping 13th time
For the record, Cllr Critchley was unaware he was making the shadow puppets.....in other news that app has been refused
Cllr Nick Peel has asked Cllr Critchley to stop making shadow puppets with his hands in front of the projector screen, he claims to have seen a horse and a rabbit already, this is real controversy!
Police have declined to speak to us about the alleged assault.
Apologies to Cllr Watters for the typo, these things happen when trying to live blog, make notes and stay hydrated all at the same time
There were about 10 police officers outside the town hall, but that has reduced to about three now.
Members visited the site this morning and has recommend refusal on the plans, he said a Juliet balcony that was there before should be restored and the air unit should be moved
Councillors are now discussing plans for the formation of a roof terrace and the retention of a air source heat pump, whatever that may be, at a house in Ellonby Rise, Lostock
- Outside the meeting, Bryn Morgan, who has been leading protests against the mosque, said "The fight is not over. We intend to request a judicial review of this outcome.
"There was a petition that received 4,800 signatures."
He claims that supporters of the mosque were shouting and laughing that "they had won", but the exchange "stopped short of physical violence".
Here's a picture of the heated exchange between objectors and security in the town hall. One of the objectors tried to knock the iPad out of our reporter's hands as he took this photo.
- Going back to the developments outside the town hall - it is understood a woman is complaining to police that she has been assaulted
She said the area needs redeveloping
Cllr Watters recommends approval and it is passed
The people who were thrown out of the town hall have apparently left the area
Officers have recommended approval on this one
A witness said there was a heated argument between the man and the woman and police.
We're now onto plans for 13 houses at edges farm in Westhoughton which includes the demolition of existing farm buildings
Police are taking notes of what is being said.
Police are talking to a woman and a man outside Bolton Town Hall. As the police walked away, the pair are shouting at police.
Councillors have now returned to the room and we are getting on with the other applications, in front of a significantly reduced audience
The room has emptied entirely now
By the way there were 13 votes for and 6 against in the vote
Not sure what is going on now, all the committee members are still out of the room, understandably tense atmosphere in here
Cries from some people of 'you're corrupt', one Man shouted 'over my dead body this will go ahead'
All the councillors have left the room as security are escorting some people out of the room
It's been approved and it's chaos in here, people are rushing forward to shout at the councillors and someone appeared to throw some money towards the councillors
Voting now, deferral is refused
Cllr Andrew Martin speaking now, says he has approached it with an open mind and he is satisfied that this isa. Replacement facility
Says that in the future he believes there will be more people and that it should be deferred while traffic issues looked at
Cllr Allen: 'very few of us seem to have any issues with the building itself, I certainly don't, the problems for me arrive solely from parking and highways issues'
Cllr Norman Critchley said the app must be deferred while the traffic problems are sorted out and Cllr Bob Allen agrees with him
The atmosphere has calmed somewhat in the hall, time for a much needed glass of water for me
Chairman Darvesh has stepped in, he says it is impossible to tell the relevance that mosque attendance has on traffic in Blackburn Road because prayer times vary throughout the year
Cllr Richardson received some loud applause for his call to reject the application
He also said that whilst objections can't be made against this application because it is a mosque, he believes it also shouldn't receive special consideration
Sorry all, lost connection there, new UKIP councillor Paul Richardson has been speaking, he has serious issues with parking in the area and believes the application should be refused outright
This is what the existing mosque looks like. The new one would replace it, if approved:
And here's another:
Cllr peel momentarily interrupted as he says he is 'attacked by a fly' he is ok to carry on now...
This is an artist's impression of what it could look like:
He says it will be a distinctive building and will be a landmark building on Blackburn Road
Cllr Nick Peel has the mic now, he says that Cllr Walsh's concerns would be relevant if this was an additional facility, but says it is in fact a replacement and will cover the same users
Someone shouted 'well explained', clearly happy with Cllr Walsh's suggestion
Cllr Walsh receiving support from the audience for his suggestion of deferring for a proper examination of traffic issues
Says Blackburn Road one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the town, asking for all councillors to be given the warnings offered by traffic officers, thinks there are 'serious issues', calling for deferral
Cllr John Walsh now addressing traffic concerns, says a traffic officer has highlighted real issues with parking in the area at what would be peak periods for use of the mosque
Says it will also be an improvement for women in the area
Cllr Thomas: "this is going to be a very very important facility for this community."
Amid the chaos, the debate begins...Cllr Linda Thomas registers her support, says it is a major regeneration scheme and a quality design
Quite a few angry outbursts going on now, a few have stormed out and there is a mixture of applause and loud booing going on, it's getting very heated
People are shouting out, saying it is biased that Cllr Ismail can speak for any length of time, several people have stormed out now, shouting 'this isn't democracy' but chair Darvesh is explaining there is no time limit for ward councillors
She says it is definitely a replacement and will continue to serve the people of Bolton, says the app ticks all the right boxes
Cllr Sufrana Ismail is speaking in support of the app, with loud applause welcoming her to the seat
He says it is too large and too ostentatious and will make the area look more like Istanbul than Bolton
Bryn Morgan, an objector has just spoken on behalf of the objectors, cue applause from members of the audience
As architect David Cox says this can be a building that Bolton can be proud of, a man has taken a spot at the front of the room and is holding a 'No More Mosques'banner
Just a quick aside, the site visits arranged earlier for the applications for the 300 homes at Crompton Way and for land at Brittania Way mean those apps will be deferred
Officers think this can be done and they are recommending approval
Officers want a travel plan which will see the applicants committing to reduce the number of people coming by car and to carry out parking marshalling
He says the issue of parking and highways has troubled officers the most
There will be no call to prayer that would wake local residents
Speaking about the design he says it is a good design that will add interest and variety to Blackburn Road
Speaking about the design he says it is a good design that will add interest and variety to Blackburn Road
Mr Hill says the objection petition doesn't focus on specific planning considerations but clearly represents a significant body of signatures
And another support petition of 3,308 signatures
Says the council have just received a petition of objection totalling 4,867 signiatures
Now going through the late list of representations as I outlined earlier
He says the applicants aren't wanting a larger membership at the mosque, it is in effect a replacement building but a larger one
The Blackburn road mosque is up first and planning officer Tim Hill is outlining the application
Cllr Darvesh is warning against any disruptive behaviour as we start things off
Cllr John Walsh is suggesting site visits for applications at Brittania Waya no Crompton way, they have been agreed
We're off, chair Hanif Darvesh is doing a bit of house keeping
Just about to get going, I have been given a nice jug of water to help me through the day, very good of the council
I think we will be dealing with the mosque application first, it would make sense with the large number of people here
It also says it has received seven pro-forma letters petitions in support of the plans, with around 250 signatures as well as a signiature petition of 3183 signiatures
Just having a look through the late list, which is items received after the consultation period.
regarding the Astley Bridge mosque plans, the council says it has received 104 letters of objection, with the bulk being from local residents
The festival hall is filling up now, maybe 70 people here so far, good move by the council to change venues, this was always going to be a well attended meeting
Afternoon all and welcome to our live blog of the Bolton Council planning committee meeting, a fair few interesting applications up today and I will do my best to bring you the best of the action
Good afternoon - we're expecting a very exciting afternoon of planning decisions today. The meeting is due to start at 2pm.