Agenda item

21/00059/FUL - Proposed demolition of existing building and erection of 37 no. over 55 retirement living apartments and associated works including car parking, cycle parking, external bin store area and landscaping at former Upton Medical Centre and adjacent land, Bechers, Widnes, WA8 4TE


The consultation procedure undertaken was outlined in the report together with background information in respect of the site.


Officers’ advised that since writing the report representations had been received from all Ward Councillors, as presented in the AB Update List – responses to these concerns were provided.  Further consultee responses had also been received and it was noted that the applicant had submitted a further bat survey, which MEAS had confirmed was satisfactory.  Two additional conditions were also recommended to be added to the list contained in the report.


The Committee was addressed by Mr Steve Grimster, who spoke on behalf of the applicant and provided some background to and the merits of the proposal.  This included inter alia, an introduction to the operator Housing 21 who were specialists in the field of retirement properties; details of the retirement apartments including landscaping and on-site parking; on-site support for residents; the design and quality of the development; its affordability and contribution they will make to the housing needs of an aging population in Halton.


Following Members’ questions it was confirmed that the parking ratio for retirement developments was 1 space per 3 dwellings, which was applied with this proposal.  It was also noted that a planning condition would restrict the use, and that a further planning application would need to be made should an alternative use be proposed.


In response to concerns raised by Members over the scheme’s proximity to Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) and the potential for disruption to future residents, Officers’ advised that the proposed building had been designed so that only windows serving the communal staircase and kitchen areas would be located facing the MUGA, and that there was scope for other possible mitigation measures, such as the height of the fence surrounding the MUGA or landscaping.


The Committee agreed that the application be approved, subject to the conditions listed and the addition of the two conditions referred to in the AB Update List.


RESOLVED:  That the application be approved subject to the following:


a)    entering into a legal or other agreement relating to securing financial contributions in lieu of on-site open space provision;


b)    conditions relating to the following:


1.    Standard time limits condition (BE1);

2.    Approved plans condition (BE1 and TP17);

3.    Submission and agreement of a submission of a construction / traffic management plan, which will include wheel cleansing details, hours of construction and deliveries (BE1);

4.    Existing and proposed site levels (BE1);

5.    External facing materials (BE1 and BE2);

6.    Conditions for landscaping, planting, management and maintenance (BE1 and BE22);

7.    Breeding birds protection (GE21 and CS20):

8.    Bird nesting boxes scheme (GE21 and CS20);

9.    Electric vehicle charging points scheme (CS19);

10. Parking, access and servicing provision (BE1, TP6, TP7, TP12, TP15 and TP17):

11. Submission of ground investigation report, mitigation measures and validation (PR14 and CS23);

12. Drainage strategy condition (PR16 and CS23);

13. Foul and surface water on a separate system (PR16 and CS23);

14. Provision of affordable housing scheme (CS13);

15. Sustainable energy scheme (S19); and

16. Restriction to use as over-55’s retirement living apartments (BE1 and RP12);

17. Provision of information in sales/rental packs for new occupants, informing residents of the importance of the European sites and responsible user code and the location of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces (GE21 and CS20); and

18. The provision of bat boxes (GE21 and CS20).




c)    that if the S106 Agreement or alternative arrangement was not executed within a reasonable period of time, authority be delegated to the Operational Director – Policy, Planning and Transportation, in consultation with the Chair or Vice Chair of the Committee to refuse the application. 

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