Agenda and minutes

Development Management Committee
Tuesday, 3rd March, 2020 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Civic Suite, Town Hall, Runcorn. View directions

Contact: Ann Jones on 0151 511 8276 Ext. 16 8276 or Email: 

No. Item


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 89 KB


          The Minutes of the meeting held on 6 January 2020 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.



Additional documents:


The Committee considered the following applications for planning permission and, in accordance with its powers and duties, made the decisions described below.

The Committee was advised that Cllr Morley was a trustee of the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust, who were referred to as consultees in the Officer’s report for the following item.  However, it was clarified that the Trustees of the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust had not been consulted regarding the Trust’s objection relating to the application and as the Trust’s objection had been withdrawn, Cllr Morley was permitted to take part in the consideration and voting of the application.



- 19/00235/FUL - Proposed development of 243 dwelling houses, including access, open space and associated infrastructure on land north of Railway and west of Tanhouse Lane, Widnes


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


Officers’ advised the Committee that reports were originally prepared for the November and January Development Control Committee meetings in relation to this application, but this matter was not considered due to receipt of a late, detailed objection.


It was reported that a review of the proposal had been undertaken by the applicant in light of late objections received and officer advice.  As a result, amendments had been made to the layout/apartment design to further mitigate the impact on future residents from noise and an updated noise assessment had now been provided.   Amendments had also been made and clarification provided with respect to the proposed drainage proposals, so the report presented to the Committee today had been updated to reflect the current position.


The Committee was advised that a further representation had been received from ICoNiChem since these amendments had been made.  The Council’s Environmental Health Officer (EHO) then advised the Committee of the nature of the objection from ICoNiChem; that being the potential for them to become a statutory noise nuisance.  However the EHO advised that they did not object to the proposal as they were satisfied that the applicant had complied with the initial issues raised, through the reconfiguration of the layout of the apartments as described in the report.


The Committee was addressed by Mr McGrath, who spoke on behalf of the applicant.  He explained that the site already had outline planning permission for a residential development and they were proposing to build 214 properties with open spaces.  He noted the noise objections made by ICoNiChem, but stated that they had redesigned the apartment layouts so that noise from their site would be minimised for residents.  He argued that the site was heavily contaminated and derelict and the proposal was comprehensive and would add affordable homes in excess of the requirement.  They would  provide a mixture of provision for different types of residents, which would be of great social value.   He urged the Committee to approve the application so work could commence as soon as possible.


Mr Croft, ICoNiChem’s Operational Director, then addressed the Committee.  He stated that this Company had operated for the past 40 years on this site and employed 64 people.  He argued that the close proximity of residential housing to them was a threat to the business as the Company operated 24 hours a day 7 days a week and noise was emitted continuously from the site.  He also stated that the applicant had made no attempt to solve the issue as despite the reconfiguration of the rooms and better quality glazing, flaws still remained, such as the fact that the windows facing the site could not be opened and the glazing would not be effective enough to block out the noise.  He advised that despite the mitigation measures put in place there was still a serious risk of noise nuisance for future residents which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


- 19/00518/FUL - Proposed demolition of existing building and replacement by 8 no self-contained light industrial units (use class B1c) including new access and associated care parking, hardstanding and landscaping on former Widnes timber centre, land off Foundry Lane, Widnes, WA8 8TZ


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


The Committee was advised that since the publication of the agenda one further representation had been received in support of the application. 


Members were referred to the definition of the proposed use as defined by the Use Classes Order given on page 70 of the report.  That definition being one ‘which could be carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area’.  The site was designated within the current development plan as within Halebank Action Area and uses within Use Class B1 were specifically listed within the relevant policy as being acceptable.   It was noted that the suggested additional condition stated in the published AB update list further restricted any future proposed change of use.


The Committee was addressed by Mr White who spoke on behalf of the applicant.  He stated that although previous planning consents had been given for the site, none had materialised.  He stated this was a change of use to industrial, however the plans sat comfortably within the neighbouring residential areas and would benefit from new fencing and a buffer boundary, consisting of soft landscaping, which would also act as an acoustic buffer for traffic and HGV’s. 


Members were then addressed by Mr Clarke who objected to the scheme on behalf of local residents.   He stated that the plans would have a detrimental effect on the area and greatly affect the quality of life of the surrounding residents.  He provided details of an incident when the Fire and Rescue Service where unable to access a house that was on fire and neighbours had to provide access for them through their own homes; the residents were afraid of repeat incidents of this nature.  He also stated that when they bought their houses, the Committee had told them that surrounding land would be residential.


On behalf of the Development Control Committee the Chair stated that this Committee had never made statements of this nature in relation to any area of potential development within the Borough.


Members were then addressed by Councillor Dourley, a Local Ward Councillor who spoke in objection of the application.  He supported the comments made by Mr Clarke in relation to the information provided to existing residents regarding the plans for the site being only for residential development.  He argued that access to the site was via one access road and was very difficult for emergency vehicles, as experienced by the Fire Brigade with a recent house fire call.  He insisted that the site was identified as residential and to allow industrial development would be unfair to those residents already living there.  He requested the Committee to reject the proposal.


Members considered the application and representations made by speakers.  Clarity was provided around material and non-material considerations in relation to the application following comments made by Councillor Woolfall.  It was also commented that the application must be determined  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


- 19/00563/FUL - Proposed erection of steel portal frame industrial building for storage, portal buildings to provide additional storage (50sqm), office accommodation (45sqm), toilets (9sqm), canteen (18sqm) and drying room (7.5sqm) and enclosure of site with 2.4 metre green steel wire fencing and gates at former Brakes car park, Aston Fields Road, Whitehouse Industrial Estate, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 3FZ


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


The Committee agreed that the application be approved.


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


1.    Time limit – full permission;

2.    Approved plans;

3.    Existing and proposed site levels (BE1);

4.    External facing materials (BE1 and BE2);

5.    Removal of palisade fencing and installation of green paladin fencing (BE1);

6.    Tree and hedgerow protection (BE1);

7.    Breeding birds protection (GE21);

8.    Cycle parking scheme (BE1 and TP6);

9.    Electric vehicle charging point scheme (CS19);

10. Implementation of pedestrian link (BE1 and TP12);

11. Provision and retention of parking and servicing (BE1 and TP12);

12. Ground contamination (PR14 and CS23);

13. Drainage strategy (PR16 and CS23); and

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