Hous­ing set for go-ahead de­spite 100s of ob­jec­tions

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@reach­plc.com @jamie_lopez1

PLANS to build hun­dreds of homes in Church­town are set to be ap­proved de­spite wide­spread ob­jec­tion from res­i­dents and lo­cal politi­cians.

Sefton Coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee will this week de­cide on a pro­posal to build 327 homes on farm­land off Bank­field Lane, which was orig­i­nally sub­mit­ted last year.

But the coun­cil has re­ceived 180 ob­jec­tions from those who live in the area or have links to it, while a writ­ten pe­ti­tion en­dorsed by Cllr John Dodd was signed by 70 peo­ple and a sep­a­rate on­line one by more than 550.

South­port MP Damien Moore has also ob­jected to the plan.

Among the key con­cerns of res­i­dents are ad­di­tional traf­fic, the overde­vel­op­ment of Church­town and the im­pact on the vil­lage’s in­fra­struc­ture.

The loss of Green Belt land has also been re­peat­edly cited by those ob­ject­ing to the pro­posal, though the land is no longer clas­si­fied this way since be­ing in­cluded in the Sefton Lo­cal Plan.

But de­spite the ob­jec­tions, a plan­ning of­fi­cer’s report has rec­om­mended ap­prov­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion at a com­mit­tee meet­ing on Wed­nes­day even­ing ( June 6). The report states that the prin­ci­pal of de­vel­op­ing the land for hous­ing is al­ready de­cided by the Lo­cal Plan as part of an ef­fort to meet the bor­ough’s hous­ing needs.

Re­spond­ing to spe­cific con­cerns, it states: “The ac­cess is con­sid­ered to be ac­cept­able and var­i­ous off-site high­ways works will en­sure that the pro­posal is also ac­cept­able in high­way safety terms.

‘‘The scheme would pro­mote sus­tain­able meth­ods of trans­port in­clud­ing ap­pro­pri­ate pedes­trian and cy­cle links through the site and to the wider area.

“It is con­cluded that the site would not give rise to flood­ing con­cerns ei­ther on the site or in the wider lo­cal­ity and the site can be drained sat­is­fac­to­rily.”

Mean­while, a sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tion to build 147 homes on the nearby former Philips fac­tory is also likely to be ap­proved by the plan­ning com­mit­tee.

The site, be­tween Bal­moral Drive and Ruf­ford Road, is also al­lo­cated for hous­ing in the Lo­cal Plan and, ex­cept for some small units, has sat va­cant for sev­eral years.

Both pro­pos­als will be de­cided at a pub­lic meet­ing of the coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee at 6.30pm on Wed­nes­day, June 6 at the Royal Clifton Ho­tel, South­port.

Damien Moore

John Dodd

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