HARMING GROWTH: Plan for 71 homes in Bromborough rejected
Riverwood Road in Bromborough, Image: Google
A proposal to build 71 homes in Bromborough was rejected over fears it could harm economic growth.
Bellway Homes’ application for the houses, on land north of Riverwood Road in the Wirral town, would have seen more than 70 traditional family homes with either two, three or four bedrooms built.
But Wirral Council threw the plans out, as it had several concerns about the project.
In its reasons for rejection, the council said: “The proposal would be detrimental to the purpose and character of the area and could set an undesirable precedent that could undermine future sustainable economic growth and employment opportunities if replicated elsewhere within the primarily industrial area.”
There were also worries that the site would be inaccessible and that it was not in an ideal location for future residents, as it had “insufficient access” to “essential local services”.
Environmental concerns were also expressed.
The statement added: “The proposed development would result in the loss of a number of trees within the application site, including a significant [tree protected by a tree preservation order] which has some valuable characteristics and features of a veteran tree.”
The planning statement, prepared for Bellway Homes by Pegasus Group, argued that the project was a very important one.
The statement read: “The proposed development will provide new homes within an area of high demand and in a borough where local housing needs are not being met, and where not enough homes have been provided to meet the housing requirement consistently for the past twelve years.”
Pegasus Group also thought the potential harm to the local economy needed to be put into context.
The statement continued: “It is also clear that whilst the proposed development will result in the loss of employment land, this impact is substantially mitigated by the fact that this site has been vacant for around six years and is not in employment use.
“It has been marketed for around four years and no occupiers have been identified or anyone willing to redevelop the site for employment use.
“[Also] it is poor quality employment land with viability issues for employment use.”
The planning statement made the case that the character of the area could change and added: “It is noted that the area is currently industrial in character, but the proposed development and that at Riverside Park can create an environment that is fitting for the new residents.
“The proposed development will also incorporate suitable landscaping, including new tree planting.”
This argument on tree planting was also part of the group’s defence of the application.
On this, the statement read: “Whilst some trees on the eastern periphery of the woodland need to be removed to allow the proposed development to come forward, the trees are not category A trees and are not irreplaceable habitat, and their loss is not a reason to refuse the application.
“This impact will also be mitigated with new tree planting within the site.”
Pegasus Group said the site also had good access to local services.
The statement continued: “The site is sustainably located within the Bromborough urban area, approximately 700 [metres] walking distance from Bromborough town centre, which includes a range of services and facilities including supermarkets, a pharmacy, library, post office, civic hall, doctor’s surgeries, banks etc.”
Ultimately, Wirral Council disagreed and rejected the proposal, meaning the plan cannot go ahead unless a new application is successful.
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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