Planning in Action – Planning Committee 17th April

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Apologies if we’re a bit late to the planning party but events have rather overtaken us this week . However we have been asked for your support against a planning application  concerning Ashton Court ,West Kirby  that comes before tonight’s Planning committee.

Planning Committee 17.04.19 agenda

It will be interesting to observe the actions of Planning Committee Chair (!) Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes on this particular agenda item particularly considering the conflicts of interest involved with him being a board member of Magenta Living. But then this is Wirral Council where all kinds of conflicts go undeclared and unchallenged.

Here are the details of one of the objections to the plans:

ASHTON COURT……Planning Committee – Wednesday 17 April 2019.

1.      My name is Alan Rundle and I live at XXX, West Kirby.

2.     This Planning Committee has already rejected two identical planning applications for development at Ashton Court. The Planning Inspectorate has dismissed two appeals.

3.      ‘Magenta Living’ has created three companies to privatise its housing stock. They are ‘Starfish Commercial’, ‘Bamboo Lettings’ and ‘Hilbre Homes’.

4.      The previous two identical applications were submitted by Starfish Commercial.

5.       This application has been submitted by ‘Hilbre Homes’.

6.         Since this application is identical to the previous two, the concerns and objections to the previous applications apply equally to this application.

7.      Six petitions have now been submitted to the Council, objecting to this scheme.

8.     A large number of West Kirby residents want to see the Ashton Court flats refurbished, modernised and occupied, once more, by elderly people.

9.     The Lead Local Flood Authority (the LLFA) objects to this application and recommends refusal of planning permission contrary to what is printed in the Ashton Court Agenda, under the heading ‘CONSULTATIONS’.

10.             I quote from an email sent by the Lead Local Flood Authority to Neil A.Williams, with the subject given as ‘Application APP/18/01625 (Ashton Court) consultation response, dated 10th January 2019. It states:

“……the Lead Local Flood Authority object to this application and recommend refusal of planning permission….” adding “….the proposed scale of development may present risks of flooding on-site and/or elsewhere if surface water run-off is not effectively managed”.

The LLFA also states that “….there is no information whether the system will be in private ownership or offered for adoption, who will be responsible for maintenance and how maintenance of unadopted communal components…….will be secured and funded in perpetuity”.

The LLFA further adds: “In the absence of this information, the surface water flood risk resulting from the proposed development is unknown and this is therefore sufficient reason in itself for a refusal of planning permission”.

11.             The Council’s website shows that there were seven bodies consulted concerning this application. The LLFA one has been seen to recommend refusal of planning permission. I have given some of the LLFA’s reasons. The Wirral Society was consulted. In a communication to Mr. N. Williams, dated 9 January 2019, the Wirral Society writes: “The Wirral Society objects to this repeat, repeat application….”.

Reasons are given including one that states: “Surely, a refurbishment is possible and less costly, and would maintain the green space that is under threat from this application at the centre of Banks Road”.

Why is there no mention of the Wirral Society objection in the Ashton Court Agenda document under the heading ‘CONSULTATIONS’?

Why is the Agenda item ‘CONSULTATIONS’ so misleading and incomplete?

12.             This application breaches several NPPF and Council policies:

  1. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) definition of Previously Developed Land (aka Brownfield Sites) specifically excludes the inclusion of “….land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens….”. Therefore, Ashton Court does not qualify as a Brownfield Site and should be removed from the Council’s Register of Brownfield Sites.
    Ashton Court is not actually given ‘confirmed’ status on the Council’s Brownfield Site Register and, as a consequence, this application does not qualify for the subsidy of a Vacant Building Credit of £9,291 to be paid by the Council to the applicant.

    The Lead Local Flood Authority has previously stated that the site cannot be classed as ‘previously developed’ or ‘brownfield’ for the purposes of the water drainage system.

    (ii) GRE1 – The title of the Council’s Urban Greenspace Strategic Policy is a big clue as to what it is intended to do: GRE1 The Protection of Urban Greenspace. This planning application proposes to cover urban greenspace with concrete, tarmac and bricks and mortar.

    (iii) SPD2…..Separation Distances.
    In the Agenda, section 3.8.13 it states that “Almost all separation distances are complied with“.This is not acceptable. Does the Council’s SPD2 policy apply to some residents but not to others, or does the SPD2 policy apply to all residents? This application breaches the Council’s SPD2 policy.

    (iv) SPD4…..Car Parking provision for newly-built properties – 27 car parking spaces should have been provided for the proposed 14 houses. This application breaches the Council’s SPD4 policy. and

      (v) the NPPF definition of ‘Affordable Housing’ states that

     “Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative housing provision”. “Intermediate housing” is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels.

    It is not clear that the applicant has made any commitment to guarantee that future eligible households will receive any subsidy.

13.             Some West Kirby residents have suggested that the Council compulsorily purchase the Ashton Court retirement flats.

14.             Some West Kirby residents have expressed their desire to see the Ashton Court flats awarded listed status…….as an example of 1960s council housing.

15.            This application includes no Social Rented Housing…….no Intermediate Housing……. and……no Key Worker Housing.

16.            I ask Wirral Council’s Planning Committee to reject this planning application.

 

The De-greening of West Kirby : A Further Reminder

As a follow up to our The De-greening of West Kirby story we have some further updates for your information including details on how to object to the proposed Ashton Court development and some interesting information on how Magenta Living and their officers are (once again) planning to make a killing on what was once public property. We also provide further photographic evidence of the destruction being done in the name conservation in Ashton Park.

ASHTON COURT  :

PLEASE OBJECT TO THE APP/18/01625 Planning Application for ASHTON COURT.
The last date for objections is Tuesday 5 February 2019.
1.Use Google (Duck Duck Go or another search engine);
2. Enter: Wirral.planning applications……..in the search box;
3. Click on: View local planning applications – Wirral Council;
4. On the page titled ‘Search for applications’, click on ‘Simple’;
5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter: APP/18/01625;
6. Click on the green ‘Search’ pad;
7. Click on the Make a comment pad;
8. Scroll down the page to enter your personal details (title, name, address);
9. Enter your objection to planning application APP/18/01625 in the ‘Your comment’ box;
10. When you have finished making your objection, scroll down and click ‘submit’.
THANK YOU.
PLEASE object to the dreadful APP/18/01625 planning application for the demolition of 22 empty and neglected retirement flats at Ashton Court, Banks Road, West Kirby (NW England). The application proposes the privatisation of the site with the construction of 13 three-storey houses and 1 two-storey house…..to be sold on the open market. PLEASE object on Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s website. Google: Wirral.planning applications. Follow the simple search process. Enter: Ashton Court.APP/18/01625 and click on COMMENT. Make your objection.
The 22 flats should be refurbished and modernised for elderly people!!!! The Housing Association ‘Magenta Living’ has 192 unoccupied (empty) homes. This is a disgrace. Magenta Living has an annual income, from rents, in excess of £50 million. The CEO is paid £130,000 per annum. THANK YOU for your help!!!
ASHTON PARK :

Photos documenting Ashton Park fellings last week….The Council will not respect a call for a moratorium and our ecology is being decimated at the expense of us all.

Please continue to defend our trees write in to MP’s/ Councillors/ Andrew Elkington (of the Council) and keep the pressure on for this to STOP
For Trees Wirral
ashton park 17
ashton park 22
ashton park 21

The De-greening of West Kirby

A couple of messages from campaign groups in West Kirby (home of Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil Davies and his personal spin doctor Martin Liptrot)  which we think  warrant your attention :

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the For Trees team!

Over the break, tree cutting has continued at Ashton Park has continued.
We URGENTLY need emails of objection (labelled as ‘official complaint…or it can be ignored’) to go out to;
Andrew Elkington, Programme Director- Leisure, Libraries and Cultural Services.
( to whom we are now being deferred, by Mary Worrall.)
asking for a moratorium on all tree cutting on the Wirral. in reference specifically in Ashton Park until AT LEAST an independent non-commercial survey can be done on behalf of petitioning constituents.
Please copy in;
-Margaret Greenwood; margaretgreenwood@wirral.gov.uk, or/and call her office 0151 792-3416 asking for her to  support your request and help save Wirrals trees
-Ourselves, at For Trees Wirral, in order for us to share (with or without your details attached) fortreeswirral@gmail.com
The tree fellers are pushing on before the nesting season starts….We need support NOW
Please Help to share this request 
Many Thanks for your support 
Diane Johnson, For Trees
PHONECALL JUST CAME FROM THE PARK….THEY ARE FELLING NOW!
PICTURES TAKEN 11th JANUARY :
ashton park 10
ashton park 9
ashton park 8

              ASHTON COURT – UPDATE.                              11 January 2019.

THE LAST DATE THAT WIRRAL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL’S PLANNING DEPARTMENT WILL ACCEPT OBJECTIONS TO THE APP/18/01625 PLANNING APPLICATION IS TUESDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2019.

To object…..google: Wirral.planning applications. Select ‘simple search’. Enter ‘Ashton Court. APP/18/01625’…….and present your objections.

The twenty two, unoccupied and neglected, retirement flats at Ashton Court, Banks Road, West Kirby, should be refurbished and modernised. They should be kept as social, rented housing.

Planning application – APP/18/01625 proposes the demolition of the existing 22 retirement flats and the privatisation of Ashton Court, with the building of 14 houses, to be sold, privately.

Ashton Court is not a Brown Field Site, since it does not qualify as such under the National Planning Policy Framework (see the N.P.P.F. Glossary, Annex 2 – ‘Previously Developed Land’).

PLEASE object to the APP/18/01625 Planning application.

Write to: David Ball, Assistant Director ‘Major Growth Projects and Housing Delivery, Economic and Housing Growth Directorate’, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, P.O. Box 290, Brighton Street, Wallasey, Wirral, CH27 9FQ.

 Email: planningapplications@wirral.gov.uk   

Please invite your friends and neighbours to sign petitions objecting to the APP/18/01625 planning application. Thank you.
‘Magenta Living’ has created three companies to privatise some of the 13,000 social homes that it owns. The companies are: ‘Hilbre Homes’, ‘Starfish Commercial’ and ‘Bamboo Lettings’.
‘Magenta Living’ currently has 192 unoccupied properties. ‘Magenta Living’ is responsible for the neglect of the twenty two unoccupied homes at Ashton Court.
Since 2011 most of the twenty two Ashton Court homes have been wholly unoccupied and totally neglected by ‘Magenta Living’. The private gardens, in front of the Ashton Court homes have, for the last fifty years, provided a much appreciated green space, for local residents, half way along Banks Road.
Policy GRE1 of the Local Development Plan calls for Urban Green Spaces, including private gardens, like those at Ashton Court, to be protected. The Ashton Court gardens should be protected from building schemes since they are areas of visual importance to local residents and to visitors to West Kirby.
Many West Kirby residents object to Planning Application APP/18/01625 which seeks the DEMOLITION of twenty two flats at Ashton Court, Banks Road, West Kirby and the building of 14 houses (13 X 3-storey houses and 1 X 2-storey house). They are opposed to the ‘Magenta Living’ plan for the demolition of the existing homes at Ashton Court.

‘Magenta Living’ should refurbish and modernise the existing homes rather than destroy highly-valued urban green space at Ashton Court by building 14 tightly-packed, private houses. West Kirby’s remaining urban green spaces should be protected for the benefit of present and future generations.
                                                                                            

Published by: West Kirby Campaign Group.