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The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 March 2023, having been circulated, were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
The Committee considered the following applications for planning permission and, in accordance with its powers and duties, made the decisions described below.
22/00178/FUL & 22/00179/FUL - Proposed residential development including supporting infrastructure, public open space, landscaping, sustainable urban drainage and car parking on land south of Mill Green Farm, Mill Green Lane, Widnes (22/00178/FUL) and land to the south of South Lane and east of Barrows Green Lane, Widnes (22/00179/FUL) PDF 270 KB
The consultation procedure undertaken was outlined in the report together with background information in respect of the site.
The Chair reminded the Committee that although the applications tonight may be discussed together, they are separate applications and must be determined individually.
The case officer presented the applications and advised of the following clarifications to the report:
· Page 5 – The location of planning application 22/00179/FUL should read ‘land to the south of South Lane and east of Barrows Green Lane; and
· Page 40 – The S106 Chapter concludes with a total value of Infrastructure spend; the bus subsidy of a 12 month travel plan is in addition to this total.
Since the publication of the report the following updates were provided:
· Two further objections had been received – one raising issues already covered in the report and the other concerning the siting of a substation. Redrow has responded to say that the location of the substation was requested by the service provider, as it needs to be located as near to the grid connection as possible;
· Natural England has stated it has no objection to application 22/00178/FUL; however a response relating to application 22/00179/FUL remained outstanding; and
· An additional condition is recommended for each application concerning the numbers of residential units approved.
The Highways Officer outlined the highways impacts of the development on local junctions. This included further work carried out by the Applicant since the submission of the original Transport Assessment; details of a sensitivity test; details of a scheme of interventions including new cycle and pedestrian routes; and off site interventions.
The Committee was addressed by Chief Inspector Pyke, objecting to the applications on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary. He argued that both applications failed to provide mitigation for the impacts on policing in the area. He stated, inter alia that:
· The concerns of the Constabulary had been disregarded by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and the reason given for the dismissal of the objections made by the Police was weak;
· The resulting increase in population of circa 1,200 residents from both developments would cause additional demands on the Police service;
· The Local Plan did not account for any additional policing that would be required;
· The Police precept applied did not cover the additional resources (infrastructure and staff costs) that would be needed, so there is no funding;
· Policy CS(R)7 requires where deficiencies in infrastructure occur, they are adequately mitigated;
· The infrastructure requirements of the sites must be identified before approval can be given;
· The requests made by Cheshire Police met the legal tests;
· No evidence or information was requested from the Force by the LPA;
· The ongoing demands being made on the Force is unacceptable; and
· The Committee was requested to show its support for the Police for the reasons stated by either deferring the decisions or refusing the applications.
Mr Harper then addressed the Committee objecting to the proposals. He spoke about the following issues, inter alia:
· Green Belt compensatory measures – the NPPF ... view the full minutes text for item 36.