Cllr Kenny said it would not set a precedent as each application would be decided on its merits. Cllr Kelly said he was not overly convinced that a loss of a small unit would be harmful to employment prospects. He asked for advice regarding reasons for approval and said it had been better in Claughton … Continue reading “Planning Committee – 15/2/2011 – Part 9 – Change of use from business premises to residential, Tranmere”
Cllr Kenny said it would not set a precedent as each application would be decided on its merits. Cllr Kelly said he was not overly convinced that a loss of a small unit would be harmful to employment prospects. He asked for advice regarding reasons for approval and said it had been better in Claughton as there had been evidence of marketing. He said he had sympathy with the ward councillor.
An officer referred to the second paragraph of the Policy Context part of the report. He said they should be careful about releasing land designated by the UDP without proper justification.
Cllr Gilchrist said it wouldn’t be that attractive as a commercial property. Cllr Johnson said that it would enhance the street scene and that they were halfway there as there was living accommodation upstairs.
Cllr Salter said that when had been a lad it was a shop and that the upstairs had always been residential. An officer said that approval of item ten had been after evidence had been supplied that it had been marketed for commercial uses. The applicant for item ten had followed the correct process. He said approving would cause officer’s difficulties. Cllr Harney asked if the residential use predates the planning laws. The answer given was that a well established use becomes established.
Cllr Mitchell said it should be deferred for further information, so proof could be obtained regarding the ward councillor’s comments. Officers had asked twice but the information was not forthcoming.
Cllr Kenny was convinced it should be approved. Cllr Realey seconded approval. Cllr Gilchrist seconded Cllr Mitchell’s motion to defer the matter.
Eight councillors voted for approval with four against. There was a condition added that it had to be implemented within three years which was agreed by all. The Chair thanked people for coming.
Cllr Kenny sai he understood planning officers. However just a few yards away were residential properties. He said it was similar to item 10 and he had no objection to the application. He said exceptional circumstance dictated approval.
Cllr Mitchell asked about proof. An officer said there was a difference between items 4 and 10. He said no material had been put forward and that it had had a mixed commercial use in the last two years. He said the ward councillor was referring to letters regarding a residential use. He said there was no evidence of marketing for a commercial use.
Cllr Realey referred to the site visit and asked about the Smith & Sons letter. The officer replied that the Smith and Sons letter was in reference to marketing for a residential use.
Cllr Salter referred to the empty units on the Argyle Industrial Estate. Cllr Elderton recognised the officers were correct subject to conditions. He said he was minded to say there was adequate evidence to approve but he didn’t want to set a precedent. Cllr Mitchell said he had listened carefully. He referred to the February 2000 designation as industrial use. He said it was the “thin end of the wedge”. He said they had gone against the UDP regarding useful employment.
The committee then considered item 4 – Change of use to two self contained ground floor apartments with single storey extension and rear staircase in Argyle Street South, Tranmere. The officer said that it was an application for a residence in an industrial area and there was not sufficient justification.
Cllr Phil Davies (ward councillor for Birkenhead and Tranmere) asked the committee to agree to the application. He said he understood the land was primarily for industrial use and referred to the site visit the day before. Right across the road were residential popular terraced properties. Most were occupied. However this property had been vacant for two years. He said it was difficult to let as a commercial property and that there were already two flats on the first floor on the periphery of the industrial area. He said the applicant had found out that there were seventeen vacant units on the Argyle Industrial Estate and that there was not a demand for commercial property. He said it this application was refused it would be left vacant.
There was already vandalism and with no commercial tenant the vandalism could continue. He had been shown letters from an estate agents showing they would have no problem letting it as a residential property. It was close to the train station and Town Centre and there were exceptional circumstances.