Planning Committee refuse Magenta Living application for 11 houses and 2 bungalows in Upton (Kenilworth Gardens)

Planning Committee refuse Magenta Living application for 11 houses and 2 bungalows in Upton (Kenilworth Gardens)

Planning Committee refuse Magenta Living application for 11 houses and 2 bungalows in Upton (Kenilworth Gardens)

                                                             

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The Kenilworth Gardens item starts at 8 minutes 19 seconds in the video clip above and continues to the video clips below of Wirral Council’s Planning Committee meeting of the 20th November 2014.

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Cllr Matthew Patrick explains to Wirral Council's Planning Committee why they should reject planning application APP 14 00951 in Kenilworth Gardens Upton 20th November 2014
Cllr Matthew Patrick explains to Wirral Council’s Planning Committee why they should reject planning application APP 14 00951 in Kenilworth Gardens Upton 20th November 2014

The long running saga of planning application of planning application APP/14/00951: Unused Land, KENILWORTH GARDENS, UPTON, CH49 4ND – proposal to develop the site with residential units for affordable housing use, providing 11 no. two storey 2 bedroom houses, and 2 no. 2 bedroom bungalows (including 1 fully disabled access unit) finally reached a decision at Wirral Council at the Planning Committee meeting of the 20th November 2014.

The applicant was Wirral Partnership Homes Limited (T/A Magenta Living) and the agent Ainsley Gommon Architects.

Wirral Council had received this planning application on the 18th July 2014. At the Planning Committee on the 25th September 2014 a site visit was agreed. After that took place it had been due to be decided at the Planning Committee on the 22nd October 2014. However at the Planning Committee meeting on the 22nd October 2014 it was deferred to the Planning Committee meeting on the 20th November 2014 (making it over 4 months for a decision on this planning application to be reached.

Wirral Council planning officers had recommended in a report that the planning application be approved with various conditions.

The Planning Committee heard from the lead petitioner Jean Robinson, Chair of the Overchurch Residents Association who spoke against the planning application being approved. She referred to heritage reasons, ecological reasons and highway reasons why she thought the planning application should be refused.

The petitioner in favour of the application did not speak.

Rob Ware of Ainsley Gommon Architects (the agent on behalf of the applicant Wirral Partnership Homes Limited T/A Magenta Living) spoke after and explained the reasons why he thought that councillors should accept the planning application. He referred during this to a 34 year old tenant of the applicant with spinal injuries that was in need of a bungalow and would benefit from such a planning application being granted. He also referred to the highway concerns.

Cllr Matthew Patrick (ward councillor for Upton ward) also addressed the Planning Committee. He referred to the petition against the planning application, the petition in favour, the protection of urban greenspace, the uses that local residents put the land which included Easter egg hunts and litter picking.

He pointed out that trees on the site were protected by tree protection orders and how he felt that the application should be rejected because of policy HS4 as in his opinion it did not meet all the criteria for new housing as it would change the character of the area as well as another criteria in HS4.

Cllr Patrick also referred to the need to reduce crime, allow emergency vehicles access and the issue of bats, in fact three different species of bat! He felt the lighting would disturb the insects that the bats feed on and referred to a letter written from Wirral Wildlife in 2007 about the bats. He referred the Planning Committee to their legal obligation with regards to species protection and went on to refer again to policy HS4.

He wondered how the proposed disabled tenant would be able to safely access the property by foot as the proposed pavement was too narrow and finished by referring to the strength of feeling from the Overchurch Residents Association as residents had contacted him by phone, email and letter about this planning application. He urged the Planning Committee to reject the application.

After much discussion over many issues to do with the planning application ranging from highway issues, disability issues, bats and wildlife, emergency vehicle access, refuse vehicle access and garages, someone asked one of Wirral Council’s solicitors for legal advice about the issue of the application needing to rely on a future decision to unadopt the highway to proceed.

The solicitor referred to the proposed condition 9 which meant approval was conditional on the access road being formally stopped up and unadopted. She referred to the other reasons (other than a development) as to why the highway might be unadopted.

After much further debate, Cllr Stuart Kelly (Lib Dem spokesperson) moved refusal. This was seconded by Cllr Denise Realey (Vice-Chair).

All thirteen councillors present on the Planning Committee voted in favour of refusal.

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Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 22nd April 2013 Thextons (Green Deal Installer) explain the “Green Deal”

Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 22nd April 2013 Thextons, Green Deal, Wirral Partnership Homes and rendering

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The Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on Monday 22nd April, although the agenda and reports can be found on Wirral Council’s website, two agenda items (Thextons and Digital Inclusion) were presentations and three (Trader Toolkit, Fair Trade and Regeneration Update) were verbal updates so for the full details on those you’ll have to watch the video of the meeting above.

Present:
Cllr Mark Johnston (Chair)
Cllr Jean Stapleton
Cllr Stuart Wittingham
Cllr Mike Sullivan
Cllr Jeanette Williamson
Cllr Rob Gregson
Cllr John Salter
Cllr Peter Kearney
Cllr Tony Cox
Cllr Andrew Hodson

Cllr Stuart Wittingham declared an interest in items five (Under-occupation scrutiny review), six (Draft Housing Needs Assessment) and ten (End of Year Performance Update) as he is a director of Wirral Partnership Homes.

The first main agenda item was a presentation by Simon Thexton from Thexton Properties Ltd. Mr. Thexton began by describing his various experiences working in the construction industry before starting Thextons in 2001 and said that his aim had been to create a small building firm to offer a quality service. This hadn’t worked as everyone had wanted the cheapest price instead so they had concentrated on specialist sub-contracting instead.

In 2003 they’d won a business award and the business had grown and between 2005 and 2009 they had consolidated and improved. Originally based in Brassey Street, they’d moved after purchasing a derelict pub to use as a Head Office. Although the construction industry had flatlined since 2009, he was proud that they hadn’t laid anyone off and had maintained the workforce at 2009 levels by reducing profit margins.

Eighteen months ago Mr. Thexton had been to a seminar on the government’s Green Deal and ECO (Energy Company Obligation) funding, he’d seen this as a massive opportunity for Thextons. It had taken them eighteen months to change their policies investing £150,000 in retraining their workforce in internal and external render systems. He’d travelled the country looking at how other organisations were doing internal and external rendering and bringing this knowledge back to Thextons to retrain their staff. Thextons then became a chartered building company and were PAS 2030 certified (as a Green Deal Installer).

Simon Thexton referred to the work Thexton had done on the hundreds of Wirral Partnership Homes houses being rendered in the North End of Birkenhead through Brammall Construction. He said that the Green Deal element for the public (as opposed to large landlords such as Wirral Partnership Homes) was being rolled out slower due to backlogs. He explained the various stages of the Green Deal process and the various types of work that could be done to properties using Green Deal funding.

Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 22nd April 2013 Part 1 of 3
Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 22nd April 2013 Part 2 of 3
Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 22nd April 2013 Part 3 of 3
Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Wirral Council) 22nd April 2013 Playlist (all three parts)

Bidston & Claughton Area Forum 3rd October 2012 Part 3 Council Tax Benefit Consultation and Rampworx

Continued from Part 2.

Donnie said that the document said there was £200 million left and asked to the layperson what did that mean, as most people don’t talk in those figures? He said he had come along to try to get an understanding of the mechanics. Normally there would be presentations from the grass-roots about bids, but they had received a letter from the new Chief Executive saying the funding had been suspended which he was disappointed about. He said that funding at that level was important and he didn’t understand what caused a £17 million overspend unless people just “can’t add up”. He asked a question about the Rampworx project and how Wirral Council had offered match funding, but that the site had archaeological significance and contamination issues and how they had looked at a plan B which was the back field to the Bidston Rise estate. He asked whether this had been put on hold or they’d switched to plan B?

Cllr Foulkes said that he hadn’t got the Cabinet decision which was about non-essential spending and why it fell foul was that it wasn’t life or death. He said that it should be a priority as it would create jobs and youth opportunities and sounded like good value for money, however they had to fight for investment.

Donnie said that the land in question belonged to Wirral Partnership Homes and had been transferred by mistake with the housing stock, so it was designated as building land due to the need for affordable housing. He was hoping at the Strategic Housing Partnership meeting that he would find out more.

Cllr Foulkes asked Ian Brand to answer.

Ian Brand said if they had entered a legal contract then the money wouldn’t be frozen, he said he would talk to Donnie separately after the meeting.

Cllr Roberts said although this fund was frozen, that there was another pot of money called Community First that it was possible to apply to and that Anna Wallace the person responsible for Bidston could help. She said as there were no further questions, they would move to the consultation on Council Tax support and benefits.

The officer said they were proposing changes from the 1st April 2013 and that there were 40,000 people in receipt of Council Tax Benefit. There were a few rules, pensioners were protected so they would be no worse off and there was a suggestion that they should protect vulnerable groups. There was another consultation about the changes and they were now seeking people’s views. They currently received £32 million for Council Tax Benefit, which would be reduced by £3.2 million next year, so they were looking at options, one of which was not backdating claims and whether there should be a discretionary fund for hardship. If they didn’t agree on a scheme, then the default scheme would be the same as the one they had now. The consultation was running from the 1st September [2012] to the 31st October [2012].

Continued at Part 4.

Wirral Partnership Homes (formerly Wirral Council) Strikes Again

Although no building work was scheduled here, Wirral Partnership’s Homes’ contractor Brammall Construction Limited have taken out the two phone lines here, the one used for this blog 0151 512 2500 and the the other phone line too.

You’ll just have to wait till tomorrow when (hopefully it gets fixed) if you want to speak to me.

Just for clarity I don’t live in a Wirral Partnership Homes property, but this doesn’t stop their contractors jumping over a fence and chopping up our cables it seems. *sighs* I did contact the police but they’re not interested it seems if someone trespasses and causes damage. As far as they’re concerned chopping four cables in two isn’t a crime…. personally I always thought it was aggravated trespass and criminal damage, but it seems the police have better things to do than record or solve crime these days….

P.S. The mysterious flood in the kitchen is also denied by WPH and Brammall Construction, despite them installing a new tap metres from where it happened… oh and the heads chopped of our roses, graffiti and other things would probably be denied by them too…

P.P.S I hope it isn’t revenge for reporting Brammall Construction’s Ltd large donation £2,000 to the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party? Surely this latest is mere incompetence and not deliberate?

P.P.P.S Phone line is now fixed.

P.P.P.S 17:00 22/8/12 Brammall/WPH offer £50 compensation.

Phone line cut

West Wirral Area Forum 6/10/2011, Melrose Hall, Introductions, Minutes, Bridge Court Part 1

Present:
Cllr Gerry Ellis (Chair)
Cllr David Elderton
Cllr Geoffrey Watt
Cllr Eddie Boult
Cllr John Hale

Officers:
Dave Green (Director of Technical Services)
David Ball instead of Kevin Adderley (Lead Officer)
Tracey Smith (Area Forum co-ordinator)

Partners:
Merseyside Police (Sgt Andy Carter)
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (Paul Murphy)

On a very windy night, about fifty members of the public were present at the start of the meeting. Cllr Ellis said the attendance at the Leasowe, Moreton and Saughall Massie Area Forum the previous evening had only been two, so he thanked people for coming despite the bad weather. He said there were some interesting questions. He introduced himself as Gerry Ellis, councillor for Hoylake and Meols ward. He then asked those present to introduce themselves. They introduced themselves as listed above except for Paul Murphy who said he had taken over from Myles Platt.

Cllr Ellis gave an apology for Cllr Green who had told him he was on his way but not wearing a suit. He handed over to Tracey Smith for the minutes and then asked if there were any matters arising.

Bridget asked about Bridge Court on page 5 which had been demolished and asked if it was possible it would become a new health centre? Cllr Ellis said there was nobody from the Primary Care Trust, Wirral Partnership Homes had cleared the site as it was not to required standards. The GPs were looking for an alternative site.

Cllr Jeff Green arrived.

Cllr Ellis said he had talked to Patrick, who was deputy head of Wirral Partnership Homes who had told him they were at an advanced stage over negotiations about letting, however they still had a way to go. If it works it would be wonderful as the surgery at the Concourse was not up to modern standards.