Last week was the monthly meeting of Bury Planning Control Committee. This is the meeting made up of the 11 Councillors who represent the various wards of the borough of Bury. The committee determines planning applications for certain major developments and others where objections have been received.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Cristina Tegoloreports back:
Prior to the Committee meeting, a site visit took place in respect of planning application 63324, at the Moutheath Industrial Estate off George Street in Prestwich.
At the meting this application received approval but we raised some concerns:
We discussed a proposed development to the south of George Street, in Prestwich, for the erection of 124 no. dwellings.
An outline planning permission on the site had already received outline planning consent in February 2017 (for the demolition of the existing buildings and the redevelopment of the site for up to 160 dwellings and 2,959 square metres of employment floorspace). Therefore, the Planning Committee could only consider matters in relation to the layout, scale, appearance and landscaping of the proposed development.
The applicant will be taking advantage of a national policy, Vacant Building Credit (VBC), which is intended to incentivise brownfield development, including the reuse or redevelopment of empty and redundant buildings. In short term, under the VBC policy, the floorspace of any existing vacant unit is used to offset the number of affordable housing that that the landowner has to provide when redeveloping a brownfield site.
The vacant units in the proposed development have a total floorspace of 5,365.5 square feet, which would reduce the on-site affordable housing to 18 units.
We analysed the merits and I raised at the meeting the following points:
- Highlighting that this “generic” development was not catering for the specific needs of the local community which contains a significant Orthodox Jewish population, the second largest in the UK.
- Identifying those units that did not have an accessible WC at ground floor level and that didn’t allow for manoeuvring space for a wheelchair by the main entrance door.
- Putting an investigative so that electric vehicle charging points would be included.
- Clarifying that the proposed 2.1metre high close boarded timber acoustic fence, and any perimetral fence within the boundary, should be installed based on the final FFL of the proposed development, which will be finalised only when the level of Singleton Brook is confirmed.
More information and the full papers for the meeting are here.