Agenda and minutes

Development Management Committee - Monday, 15th January, 2024 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Civic Suite, Town Hall, Runcorn

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

No. Item


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 111 KB


            The Minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 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.


22/00423/OUTEIA - Proposed hybrid planning application comprising: full planning permission for the construction of the primary access points, primary internal link road and site enabling works, including site levelling and outline planning permission, with all matters reserved except for access, for the construction of up to 500 residential dwellings (use class C3), later living units (C2), a new primary school, a local centre (use class E) and associated infrastructure and open space, on land off Hale Gate Road, Widnes pdf icon PDF 808 KB

Additional documents:


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


The following updates were provided by the Case Officer:


·         Heritage update – as presented in detail in the published AB Update List;

·         Cheshire Police had not responded in relation to the request for further information and justification for their request for financial contributions;

·         NHS Property Services letter sent to Members of the Committee on Friday – Officers were of the same position as set out in the Committee report, in that the request for financial contributions did not meet the relevant tests of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations and was not therefore proposed to be secured in a S106 Legal Agreement;

·         There were minor changes to the list of conditions set out in the report – conditions 4 and 5 had been combined, conditions 12 and 13 had been combined and a condition had been added in relation to energy and sustainability;

·         The Council’s Highway Authority had formally removed their objection; and

·         The Council’s Highway’s Officer advised the Committee that following discussions with Arriva regarding bus provision into the site, a service diversion was currently cost prohibitive/operationally ineffective and an unreasonable ask of the developer given the amounts required.  It was noted that the site accesses were designed to accommodate potential future bus services into the site, should a bus service become available in the future.


Mr Anderton, a resident of Halebank since birth and Parish Councillor for 6 years, addressed the Committee on behalf of local residents objecting to the proposals.  He stated, inter alia, that:


·         The Halebank community felt that the addition of 500 houses would impact greatly on the existing population;

·         The infrastructure of the area was insufficient to cope with this number of additional houses;

·         He referred to an Executive Board report from 2016 which raised concerns back then over the ‘pinch point’ on Ditton railway bridge;

·         HBC should contact Network Rail to conduct a structural survey of the bridge;

·         The application was non compliant;

·         All local Ward Councillors were opposed to the application;

·         Halebank Parish Council had been successful with 3 judicial reviews on planning approvals previously; and

·         The application was not in accordance with the Delivery and Allocations Local Plan (DALP).


He concluded by urging the Committee to refuse the application or at least defer its decision to a later date.


The Committee was then addressed by Ms Landor, a Planning Consultant representing Halebank Parish Council.  She commented, inter alia, that:


·         50% of the site was in the Green Belt so this was a departure;

·         The owner of the site did not own all of it;

·         There was policy conflict regarding the school (this was described) which was underplayed;

·         Roads were not tree lined as required;

·         The proposed open space provision was disjointed;

·         The Highways Authority were unhappy with the proposal; and

·         The scheme was not in accordance with policy and we disagree with the officer recommendations to approve.


Ms Smith, the Planning Agent for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


23/00349/COU - Proposed change of use of dwelling and hotel into 6 apartments at 15(a) - 19 Main Top Hotel, Mersey Road, Widnes, WA8 0DG pdf icon PDF 435 KB

Additional documents:


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


The Case Officer advised that the requirement for a legal agreement, referred to in the report and recommendations (a) and (c), had been removed and the issue would now be secured by conditions.


She also advised that 22 neighbour objections had been received believing that the application was for homes of multiple occupation (HMO’s); she confirmed that the application was for 6 self-contained apartments and should be determined as such.  She also provided updates in relation to car parking and it was noted that the Highways Officer raised no objection.  He did suggest additional condition/s to make good the redundant dray delivery hatch to the former beer cellar; these would be added.


The Committee was addressed by West Bank Ward Councillor Wallace, who, supported by her Ward colleague Councillor Hutchinson, spoke in objection to the application on behalf of residents.


Councillor Wallace began by distributing a page of photographs taken of parking in the area, which it was noted were taken on a Saturday at 1pm.   She gave the Committee some historical and background information on West Bank.  As a born and bred resident of West Bank herself, she had witnessed the area thrive under the chemical industry in the 1960’s and had seen its decline over the years.  She mentioned anti-social behaviour, gangs, drugs and drug use, the increase of HMO’s, fly tipping and parking issues.  She also commented on  the influx of landlords buying properties who were not from the area and had no interest in the community of West Bank.  She had also spoken to all residents regarding this and advised it was having a negative impact of the community, as it was felt local people were being pushed out of the area.


She also highlighted problems already being experienced with highways and cleansing.  Emergency vehicles and bin trucks were being blocked by cars parking on streets so were prevented from reaching properties.  She cited that a development such as this would exacerbate the situation.


She concluded by advising that Derek Twigg MP had previously raised concerns about the numbers of HMO’s in West Bank.  She urged the Committee to help the community of West Bank to stop the saturation of the area with properties of this nature, and the one being applied for today.


Councillor Wallace’s objections could also be found in detail on pages 75 and 76 of the agenda.


Members discussed the application, raising concerns over the lack of parking spaces for 6 flats (they stated potentially 12 cars) and the problems that emergency vehicles, cleansing trucks and buses already had with access to the area.  It was commented that to make an analysis and comparisons with hotel parking requirements and residential parking requirements was not a fair one, especially as the building was used as a hotel many years ago.  The consensus was that it was wrong to assume that residents of apartments did not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.