Matthew Rushton said the distance of 17 metres was wrong.
Cllr Salter asked a question about the A4 use. He asked if it was approved in 2008, could they not overturn it unless there was substantial change?
Cllr Elderton agreed that there would have to be change to the development or a change in legislation.
Cllr Mitchell said there were national policies on A4 uses and that a previous planning decision on another A4 use had already been overturned. He said there would be great difficulty in reversing the decision.
Cllr Johnson asked if the previous planning permission was granted on 31st July 2008, wasn’t the three years up?
Matthew Rushton replied that the application had been submitted before the expiry.
Cllr Johnson asked about the original application. The reply given was that no new plans had been submitted and it was the same development as in the previous application with the same plans.
Cllr Kelly asked about separation distance and asked if it did not meet policy. Matthew Rushton replied that it was not clear. He said they can’t reassess as it was an extension of time and not submitted in a different form.
Cllr Elderton said he would help to clarify as he had been on the committee that decided it, he said it was not sufficiently relevant. Cllr Salter said he remembered it. Cllr Kelly said it was predicated on the A4 use being on the Telegraph Road end of the site, however the application doesn’t limit the A4 use. Cllr Elderton said he was correct, there was no change in design.
The applicant said it had been difficult to find users and the only way was to subdivide it to get the widest possible usage. He said the planning permission granted in 2008 for an A4 use was vital as it affected their ability to raise funds for redevelopment which would be needed to refurbish the building. Mr. Long said it has a prominent position, but it was difficult in a recession as banks would only support tenants with cash in the bank and a high street trading record. They were restricted by their ability to raised funds. If the A4 usage was taken away from the corner overlooking Telegraph Road then it would limit their ability to find tenants. They had the support of a bank for the capital required and were engaging in a marketing project. They didn’t want to restrict the scope of tenants. The problem was if they failed to get A4 use they could lose prospective tenants and financial support. The building was in a “sorry state” and he was aware of the objections of the petitioners around distance and location. He said the bar was designed to face Telegraph Road which was in a prominent position in the main shopping centre. Mr. Long asked the Planning Committee for continued A4 use and thanked them for their time.
Cllr David Elderton asked if there was any ward councillor? There wasn’t. He asked the officers to answer the issue raised by the petitioner in Supplementary Planning Document 3 about the forty metres separation distance being reduced down to seventeen metres and whether this was acceptable.
Cllr David Elderton said there was a petition and invited the petitioner to address the planning committee. The petitioner introduced himself as John Harris of 1 Castle Drive. He said when the original planning application had been approved he had been away for a long period. He had listened to the council officer and had no objections except changes had been made over the last three years. There had been the introduction of bars such as the Ravenscroft and others. As a result the residents had suffered at the weekend from noise, broken glass and vomit on the street. He said the planning committee had opposed the 9-2 opening hours of the Ravenscroft, however the Planning Inspectorate had overridden this decision.
He said his only objection was to planning permission for an A4 use. Mr. Harris said the area was partly residential. He referred to SPD 3 which stated residential dwellings should be 40 metres away. Mr. Harris said the nearest residential dwelling was 17 metres away. He said they had been promised by the Barracuda Group that their establishment would be food based. However there had been lots of promotions involving cheap booze. He said the last thing they wanted was another drinking establishment which in his view would be “unfair to local residents”.
Cllr David Elderton asked if the applicant was present. The applicant introduced himself as Kevin Long. He said the property had been empty for a number of years, since Kwiksave had gone into liquidation. They had spent time and resources trying to find an occupier, however the ground floor was over 10,000 sq ft.
Councillor Eddie Boult said he had been on the Site Visit. He said that there were two plots and did the second plot have planning permission?
Matthew Rushton replied that the adjacent plot had planning permission for a similar development, which had been approved in 2009.
Approval for planning permission was proposed by Cllr John Salter and seconded by Cllr Eddie Boult.
For the planning application: Cllr David Elderton, Cllr Eddie Boult, Cllr Wendy Clements, Cllr Peter Johnson, Cllr Dave Mitchell, Cllr Stuart Kelly, Cllr Patricia Glasman (deputy for Cllr Brian Kenny), Cllr John Salter, Cllr Joe Walsh and Cllr Bernie Mooney (10)
Against the planning application: Cllr James Keeley (deputy for Cllr Paul Hayes) & Cllr Denise Realey (2)
Therefore planning application APP/11/00834 was approved.
The committee then considered planning application APP/11/00909 for time extension for a vacant shop in Heswall. Matthew Rushton said this was for an extension of time for a refurbishment and extension. He said it had been granted previously, the only change that had happened since was that planning policy 6 had been replaced by planning policy 4. There were the same conditions as on the original application as outlined at 11.3 .