Item 4 (demolition of a petrol station and erection of shops in Claughton ward) was unanimously approved.
The next item for decision was the erection of a new dwelling in Upton Road, Bidston. There was no petition associated with this application.
The officer described this as in filling of a plot at the end of a cul-de-sac and that there was currently a live planning consent from 2008. The footprint of the amended application was the same and there was no significant difference so the application was recommended for approval.
Cllr Harry Smith addressed the committee, and referred by name to the two residents of 292 that had objected to it. He mentioned about parking, entry/egress, health and safety, the adverse impact on the area and Monday’s site visit. He said the site was too constricted and cars would have to reverse out onto the highway. He also said that if councillors allowed the application it would cause conflict between neighbours. He said a three bedroom house was bad enough, but a four bedroom was out of the question. He asked that if approved that construction traffic go to the rear of the plot. He asked for the application to be refused.
The Chair asked the officer to answer two of the points raised by Cllr. Smith. They answered that there was parking on the site itself and although access was far from ideal, the traffic caused by one residential property was unlikely to be noticed. It was pointed out that residents of other properties had to also reverse to come out onto the road.
Cllr Johnston said he was glad he’d been on the site visit and until today had thought of no planning reason to turn it down. He mentioned a report to be discussed later by the Planning Committee on garden grabbing.
The Chair said planning permission was already in place. Cllr Johnston said that this amended application was just to keep it live. Was the amended first floor element a step too far? It was pointed out that it would rely on the consent of the owners of 290 and that there were no overlooking issues.
Cllr Kenny pointed out that planning permission had already been approved and if rejected tonight the original planning permission would still stand. Cllr Kenny was minded to refuse the application. Cllr Elderton asked if it counted as overdevelopment in relation to the footprint. The response was that overdevelopment related to the % of the site being built on.
An officer also urged caution with Cllr Kenny’s point that it couldn’t because refused because the applicant might not build what they already have planning permission for.
Cllr Elderton raised a point about massing and that since the first application the owner of 290 Upton Road had changed hands. He felt there were no reasonable grounds on which to turn it down. It was pointed out there was a small area for parking at the front of the site.
Cllr Kelly raised the garden grabbing policy and said that the reasons given wouldn’t satisfy the objectors. It was in the gift of the resident of 290 as to whether to permit access.
The Chair pointed out that the rush to develop in rear gardens should be resisted. An officer pointed out that if this was a new application then garden grabbing would apply and he would report later on PPG3. The officer pointed out a strong material consideration was that there was a live consent which is why the decision had originally been delegated to officers to make.
The Chair move approval. Cllr Keeley seconded. Nine councillors voted for and 3 against (all Labour) so the application was approved.