Col­lege rapped for putting up poles with­out per­mis­sion


MAC­CLES­FIELD Col­lege has come un­der fire for in­stalling 11 flags on 6m high poles – with­out plan­ning per­mis­sion.

The col­lege is us­ing the flags to ad­ver­tise the cour­ses avail­able at the Park Lane site.

But Mac­cles­field Town Coun­cil mem­bers com­plained about ‘noise pol­lu­tion’ caused by the flags when it is windy and claims they are ‘vis­ually in­tru­sive’.

The col­lege filed ret­ro­spec­tive plan­ning per­mis­sion when it re­alised it had bro­ken the rules.

Now, to the col­lege’s re­lief, Cheshire East Coun­cil’s plan­ning depart­ment have given the flag poles the green light.

If they had been denied per­mis­sion the flags would have had to come down.

Rachel Kay, chief ex­ec­u­tive at Mac­cles­field Col­lege, said the flags were aimed at cel­e­brat­ing the col­lege’s achieve­ment in the last year.

She said: “Since I took over the Col­lege last year, I’ve been work­ing hard to raise the qual­ity of our cur­ricu­lum and course de­liv­ery. We’ve come a long way and wanted to re­place the for­mer ban­ners with new flag poles that look neat and truly re­flect the value our cur- rent course of­fer­ing pro­vides to lo­cal busi­nesses and the op­por­tu­ni­ties we of­fer to learn­ers of all ages.

“Lo­cal com­mu­nity is at the heart of ev­ery­thing we do so we car­ried out rel­e­vant re­search be­fore the in­stal­la­tion. We found sim­i­lar flags on roads across Mac­cles­field and were un­der the as­sump­tion that the in­stal­la­tion of the new poles would be a mi­nor change.

“We value our re­la­tion­ship with peo­ple liv­ing in the sur­round­ing area and will also work closely with the flag pole man­u­fac­tur­ers to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and iden­tify the ori­gin of the noise in or­der to find a suit­able so­lu­tion.”

After the col­lege sub­mit­ted its plans Mac­cles- field Town Coun­cil re­sponded mem­bers had ex­pressed con­cern that the ‘flag poles are in place with­out prior con­sul­ta­tion’, that there is ‘noise pol­lu­tion dur­ing windy con­di­tions’ due to the flags; con­cerns they could cause a dis­trac­tion to high­way users, and that they are ‘vis­ually in­tru- sive’ from nu­mer­ous lo­ca­tions around the town.

But plan­ning of­fi­cer Laura Hayes said high­ways and En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer had no con­cerns and the de­sign of the flags were mod­est and would not ad­versely ef­fect the aes­thetic and char­ac­ter of the sur­round­ing area.

Mac­cles­field Col­lege put up flag poles with­out plan­ning per­mis­sion

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