Live blog: Bolton Council planning committee meeting - April 3, 2014
This live event has finished
- 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".
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.
Cllr Cliff Morris said: "It's good for the town, it's regeneration at its best. I look forward to it being built."
Lots of people eager to move approval - meanwhile Cllr Sherrington wants to know if there's enough bin provision. Seemingly a theme emerging.
In general the scheme is appropriate and will help the regeneration of that part of the town centre, the council officer adds.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Application approved and delegated to the director, so he can thrash out the legal agreements and the all-important Section 106 agreement
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."
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.
Hearing that MBDA have been conducting a 'national and international' search for a new, more modern home than their current base in Lostock Lane.
A big one now - MBDA's bid to move into Logistics North and build a new manufacturing facility.
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.
Mr Cosgrove says he fervently believes that this development shows very special circumstances which more than outweight the harm to the green belt.
Five objections & a rejection from Westhoughton Town Council on this one - Stuart Cosgrove is here to speak about it (he's the applicant).
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.
APPROVED by the skin of its teeth. Cllr Morris called on councillors to 'move with the times' and accept the plans.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Mr Pickup speaking for it - urging the councillors to consider it as an 'exceptional design'.
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.
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.
Cllr Bob Allen moving approval. The site already has permission to be a restaurant and this application will mean less people and closing earlier.
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."
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.
Moved for approval, and seconded. "It is big this extension, but it does comply with our policy" says Cllr Allen.
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.
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.
Cllr Ann Cunliffe moving approval, and Cllr Cliff Morris seconded. Quick and easy - it's approved.
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.
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.
Gone to a vote - and it's approved unanimously.
Cllr John Walsh likes the application. Said the work has been done to a high standard & is happy for it to stay.
Photos show that it looks like it's been there "for donkeys' years". Or is that donkey's years?
Agent Frank Whittaker speaking for the application now. This is a "much better and safer" route to reach the farm, he says.
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'
Onwards and upwards - next up is the permanent retention of an access and service drive off Shepherds Drive, Horwich, for Ivy Model Farm.
Cllr Nick Peel also supporting refusal, and calls the officers' report "laughable". It's been refused.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's been deferred.
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.
Cllr Nick Peel is calling for further discussions between council officers and Asda, not least because Asda is a makor employer in Bolton.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
Farnworth Veterans Club have contested the plan, echoing the planning deparment's concerns about the placing of the car park.
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.
First application now is for a new petrol station at Asda in Farnworth, meaning the loss of 63 car parking spaces
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
Ah! I spoke too soon. Leader Cllr Cliff Morris & deputy leader Cllr Linda Thomas have made a late arrival
Councillors are settling into their seats - attendance seems lower than normal
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.
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
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.
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
Already experiencing problem with the IPad so please bear with me folks.
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.
Good afternoon. The meeting is due to start at 2pm...
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