LiveLive blog: Bolton Council planning meeting

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The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , politics reporter

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Summary

  • Live updates from this afternoon's Bolton Council planning meeting. To be discussed at this afternoon’s meeting of the planning committee:
  • International missile manufacturer MBDA’s bid to move into Logistics North – aka the former Cutacre site.
  • Asons Solicitors’ application to build a £7 million office off Topp Way. If approved it could create up to 300 new jobs.
  • A controversial "eco" physiotheraphy clinic on green belt land in Westhoughton.
  • Plans to build a B&B in Blackrod — dismissed by Blackrod Town Council because "Blackrod isn’t a tourism town".

4:31pm

And it's approved! That's all from me folks - my phone is dying and deadline is approaching. Thanks as ever for following and make sure you check The Bolton News tomorrow to see the full stories and reaction.

4:30pm

Cllr Cliff Morris said: "It's good for the town, it's regeneration at its best. I look forward to it being built."

4:29pm

Lots of people eager to move approval - meanwhile Cllr Sherrington wants to know if there's enough bin provision. Seemingly a theme emerging.

4:24pm

In general the scheme is appropriate and will help the regeneration of that part of the town centre, the council officer adds.

4:23pm

It's approved all the same. Next one - Asons Solicitors vision for Topp Way, a £7m office development. Council officers say it is a 'highly distinctive' design and makes a positive contribution to the town centre.

4:21pm

Cllr Cliff Morris said it's the same principle - they're caught between a rock and a half place. There's a quirk whereby if this and the precious applicant had split their applications in two - ground and first floor - they'd be recommended for approval.

4:18pm

This next one is very similar application - this time it's for 10 holyhurst Walk, a bid to build a front and rear single storey extensions.

4:17pm

Approved.

4:16pm

Application opened for debate - Cllr Nick Peel moved approval. Now Cllr Elaine Sherrington asking why bin space isn't taken into account when looking at applcations. "We need to e taking this a little more seriously".

4:13pm

Mr Anwar speaking now for it. He said the extra two metres won't have an impact on residents living nearby, and that his neighbours haven't objected.

4:11pm

A residential one up next - plans for a part single, part two storey extension on 6 Grierson Street. Officers have recommended refusal because it's too long - the council say the maximum extension should only be four metres, whereas the applicant wants to build out six metres.

4:04pm

Application approved and delegated to the director, so he can thrash out the legal agreements and the all-important Section 106 agreement

4:02pm

Councillors all enthusing about this scheme. Cllr Bob Allen has called the firm 'an integral part of Bolton', adding: "i'm really, really pleased that they are staying in Bolton."

4:01pm

Bernard Waldron, general manager at the Lostock site, said the company is totally involved and committed to Bolton. More than 85% of its employees live within 10 miles of Bolton, and they want to keep the association with the town.

3:52pm

Hearing that MBDA have been conducting a 'national and international' search for a new, more modern home than their current base in Lostock Lane.

3:48pm

A big one now - MBDA's bid to move into Logistics North and build a new manufacturing facility.

3:44pm

Barely any discussion - it's unanimously refused. Cllr Bob Allen said councils have to remain clear in their guidelines about what constitutes an 'expectional' development in green belt land.

3:42pm

Mr Cosgrove says he fervently believes that this development shows very special circumstances which more than outweight the harm to the green belt.

3:38pm

Five objections & a rejection from Westhoughton Town Council on this one - Stuart Cosgrove is here to speak about it (he's the applicant).

3:36pm

Councillors are now being asked rp consider a bid to build a physiotherapy practice in Brinsop House Farm in Chorley Road. Officers are recommending councillors to refuse it as an unreasonable development in the green belt.

3:33pm

APPROVED by the skin of its teeth. Cllr Morris called on councillors to 'move with the times' and accept the plans.

3:29pm

He's moved for approval. But Cllr Elaine Sherrington backing refusal. She's pointing out that wooden facades outside buildings in Bolton is a waste of time.

3:27pm

Cllr Nick Peel says this is a difficult application, as personal taste is a factor. He finds wind turbines "graceful and beautiful" - and loves the design of this house now.

3:26pm

Now says he doesn't like the elevations on the house "i do not like then at all, i don't think they are outstanding in any circumstances." He wants it refused.

3:24pm

Cllr Norman Critchley said the application's location, the fact that it is zero carbon and an exceptional design means - in his book - has to be taken into the account. 

3:20pm

Cllr Elaine Sherrington double-checking that the developers won't put goats on the roof to keep the green roof trimmed. Always important to check these things...

3:16pm

Mr Pickup speaking for it - urging the councillors to consider it as an 'exceptional design'.

3:14pm

Council officer saying that as they are recommending approval councillors might want to refer it to the Secretary of State, because it's a break from clear green belt policy. 

3:12pm

We're now hearing of plans for a 'zero carbon producing' house in the land at the junction of Blackburn Road and Cox Green Road, Bromley Cross. Described as "extremely eco-friendly" by the plannjng officer, he said this is a sufficiently high quality design. However - the Campaign for Rural England are against it.

3:08pm

It's approved.

3:08pm

Cllr Bob Allen moving approval. The site already has permission to be a restaurant and this application will mean less people and closing earlier.

3:07pm

Objector Mrs Egan speaking against the application. "It gets very busy and congested around there at certain times of the day", she said. She also wants to know what the opening hours will be. "There is another gym nearby, and that's Amir Khan's."

3:03pm

Approved. Cllr Darvesh leaving the room now for 370-372 Halliwell Road, change of use of the former Robin Hood pub into a community gym, education and training room.

3:01pm

Moved for approval, and seconded. "It is big this extension, but it does comply with our policy" says Cllr Allen.

3:00pm

Mr Giga speaking now - it's his house. He said he's got a growing family and has reduced the extension already on the advice of a council officer.

2:59pm

Another residential one, brought to committee following a request from a councillor. The owners of 16 Edge Hill Road want to build a two storey side and rear extension. Recommended approval despite objections from either side and two houses at the rear.

2:56pm

Cllr Ann Cunliffe moving approval, and Cllr Cliff Morris seconded. Quick and easy - it's approved.

2:56pm

Robert Mansfield is speaking for the application. His son lives in the bungalow, and they want to extend the house as he & his wife are expecting a baby.

2:53pm

Committee is now hearing about an application to add a first floor to a bungalow on 10 Chelmer Close in Westhoughton. Neighbour at no 8 has objected saying that their home will be sandwiched between two extended bungalows... I sense a 'bungalow-off' is brewing.

2:50pm

Gone to a vote - and it's approved unanimously.

2:50pm

Cllr John Walsh likes the application. Said the work has been done to a high standard & is happy for it to stay.

2:49pm

Photos show that it looks like it's been there "for donkeys' years". Or is that donkey's years? 

2:47pm

Agent Frank Whittaker speaking for the application now. This is a "much better and safer" route to reach the farm, he says.

2:46pm

Horwich Town Council & Cllr Richard Sylvester have written to the council against this proposal, arguing it's 'unsightly' and 'an ugly tarmac road theough farmland'

2:44pm

Onwards and upwards - next up is the permanent retention of an access and service drive off Shepherds Drive, Horwich, for Ivy Model Farm.

2:42pm

Cllr Nick Peel also supporting refusal, and calls the officers' report "laughable". It's been refused.

2:42pm

Cllr Bob Allen says the main consideration is 'when is a house a house' in terms of planning. He added: "I'm quite clear that this is a plan for a residential property and as such is inappropriate."

2:40pm

Cllr Ann Cunliffe says she can't understand why this application is being recommended for approval, when similar applications turn it into a  residential house was knocked back. "We should be protecting our green belt for our future generations" she said, moving refusal.

2:38pm

Tony Whitehead speaking for it now. Says there is a need for this type of accommodation, particularly long-term holiday let. It fits 'fair and square' with Bolton Council planning policy, he says.

2:36pm

 

Blackrod Town Council have objected to it, saying it's not appropriate given 'Blackrod is not an area dependent on tourism'. Application is recommended for approval by officers.

2:33pm

Next up - plans for a change of use from a barn & stable into a B&B. Officers saying that the main consideration here is whether it's approproate decelopment of green belt land.

2:31pm

It's been deferred.

2:30pm

Cllr Norman Critchley saying he's never had difficulty parking in that car park, but the petrol station is in the wrong place. He's also backing deferral.

2:29pm

Cllr Nick Peel is calling for further discussions between council officers and Asda, not least because Asda is a makor employer in Bolton.

2:28pm

Cllr Ibrahim wants to reject the application, adding : "i don't think this application is particularly well thought out." But Cllr Bob Allen wants to defer it instead to give Asda the chance to change their plans

2:21pm

Interestingly too, Mr Whitehead said he was involved in designing the car park when Asda first moved in, and these plans will result in a 'prejudicial' traffic flow, potentially harming pedestrians.

2:20pm

Tony Whitehead from the Vets club speaking now. He says the loss of car parking spaces will mean more cars parking on the streets, and that it WON'T help Farnworth town centre - just Asda.

2:17pm

As a company Asda are looking to put in 100 new petrol stations. Cllr Darvesh asking for clarification on the number of signs directing people.

2:15pm

It's going to be restricted opening hours, and would provide more choices for local people and a boost for the town centre, he says.

2:14pm

Communications manager from Asda Philip Baltron saying he's pleased it's been recommended for approval. Bit of an Asda plug here - says petrol is cheapest across te country & that a auccessful application would mean "more money back in people's pockets".

2:12pm

Farnworth Veterans Club have contested the plan, echoing the planning deparment's concerns about the placing of the car park.

2:10pm

Planning officer saying that they don't think the plans are the most effective use of the space - and could lead to cars queuing out of the store. However, it's enough, they say, to jeopardise road safety. It's recommended for approval.

2:08pm

First application now is for a new petrol station at Asda in Farnworth, meaning the loss of 63 car parking spaces

2:06pm

And we're off. Cllr Hanif Darvesh is going through the fire evacuation & declarations of interest - he's going to step out for the applications relate to Grierson Street, Holyhurst Walk and Halliwell Road

2:03pm

Ah! I spoke too soon. Leader Cllr Cliff Morris & deputy leader Cllr Linda Thomas have made a late arrival

2:02pm

Councillors are settling into their seats - attendance seems lower than normal

2:01pm

Physiotherapist Stuart Cosgrove will also learn today whether he will be allowed to build a new clinic in green belt land at Brinsop House Farm, Chorley Road, Westhoughton. It's been a controversial application.

1:59pm

Asons Solicitors will also find out today whether their design for the planned £7m office off Topps Way will be accepted. If approved, expect a new TV screen facing out to the A666 inspired by New York's Time Square

1:57pm

Big ones up for discussion tody include MBDA's bid to become the next big company to move to Logistics North - otherwise known as the former Cutacre mining site. They've been based in Lostock Lane for the past 80 years, but are looking to move their manufacturing base.

1:55pm

There's 15 applications set to be discussed today - hopefully it won't be as long as last month's epic, four hour meeting. And regular followers of this blog, be assured - i haven't forgotten about my quest to break the humbug sweets ring

1:53pm

Already experiencing problem with the IPad so please bear with me folks.

1:45pm

Afternoon all, Elaine here ready to take you through another (hopefully exciting) meeting of Bolton Council's planning committee. I've taken my seat in the Town Hall chamber and the councillors are slowly beginning to arrive.

1:13pm

Good afternoon. The meeting is due to start at 2pm...

Comments (9)

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1:36pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

Re "Blackrod isn't a tourism town " then make it one! That is where the money is. Does Blackrod not one to become prosperous?
Re "Blackrod isn't a tourism town " then make it one! That is where the money is. Does Blackrod not one to become prosperous? Ernagy2
  • Score: 4

1:45pm Thu 3 Apr 14

filthy6 says...

Ernagy2 wrote:
Re "Blackrod isn't a tourism town " then make it one! That is where the money is. Does Blackrod not one to become prosperous?
GMWA have just closed the main tourist attraction in Blackrod
[quote][p][bold]Ernagy2[/bold] wrote: Re "Blackrod isn't a tourism town " then make it one! That is where the money is. Does Blackrod not one to become prosperous?[/p][/quote]GMWA have just closed the main tourist attraction in Blackrod filthy6
  • Score: 1

2:02pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

filthy6 wrote:
Ernagy2 wrote:
Re "Blackrod isn't a tourism town " then make it one! That is where the money is. Does Blackrod not one to become prosperous?
GMWA have just closed the main tourist attraction in Blackrod
Short sighted. Blackrod with easy access to the West Pennine Moors. Easy walking distance from Blackrod station. Where do these people think jobs are going to come from, when they miss easy opportunities?
[quote][p][bold]filthy6[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ernagy2[/bold] wrote: Re "Blackrod isn't a tourism town " then make it one! That is where the money is. Does Blackrod not one to become prosperous?[/p][/quote]GMWA have just closed the main tourist attraction in Blackrod[/p][/quote]Short sighted. Blackrod with easy access to the West Pennine Moors. Easy walking distance from Blackrod station. Where do these people think jobs are going to come from, when they miss easy opportunities? Ernagy2
  • Score: 3

3:19pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Jim271 says...

The Gym at the old Robin Hood Pub,

Which Community will it be catering for?

Answers please even though the people of Halliwell know already.
The Gym at the old Robin Hood Pub, Which Community will it be catering for? Answers please even though the people of Halliwell know already. Jim271
  • Score: 6

6:25pm Thu 3 Apr 14

atlas123 says...

Good to see Elaine Sherrington is a nuts as ever....

Still at least she was sober!
Good to see Elaine Sherrington is a nuts as ever.... Still at least she was sober! atlas123
  • Score: 1

8:01pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Gore Seer says...

I Am Totally Against Missiles Being Built, My E.T. Friends Watch.
I Am Totally Against Missiles Being Built, My E.T. Friends Watch. Gore Seer
  • Score: -1

8:22pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

atlas123 wrote:
Good to see Elaine Sherrington is a nuts as ever....

Still at least she was sober!
A little eccentricity helps (lol)
[quote][p][bold]atlas123[/bold] wrote: Good to see Elaine Sherrington is a nuts as ever.... Still at least she was sober![/p][/quote]A little eccentricity helps (lol) Ernagy2
  • Score: 1

4:58am Fri 4 Apr 14

oftbewildered2 says...

good report Elaine - although I believe the saying is 'between a rock and a hard place' not a 'half place'.
good report Elaine - although I believe the saying is 'between a rock and a hard place' not a 'half place'. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 0

11:34am Fri 4 Apr 14

carolrimmer says...

After getting planning approval for our zero carbon house, I have decided to write a blog so people can follow our progress and hopefully it will inspire others! Check it out at http://zerocarbonhou
seproject.wordpress.
com/
After getting planning approval for our zero carbon house, I have decided to write a blog so people can follow our progress and hopefully it will inspire others! Check it out at http://zerocarbonhou seproject.wordpress. com/ carolrimmer
  • Score: 0

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