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Welcome and Introduction
The Chair, Councillor Caleb Tomlinson, welcomed the committee and members of the public and explained that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was being held virtually and livestreamed to YouTube.
Apologies for Absence
There were none.
Declarations of Interest
Members are requested to indicate at this stage in the proceedings any items on the agenda in which they intend to declare an interest. Members are reminded that if the interest is a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct) they must leave the room for the whole of that item. If the interest is not a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, but is such that a member of the public could reasonably regard it as being so significant that it is likely that it would prejudice their judgment of the public interest (as explained in the Code of Conduct) then they may make representations, but then must leave the meeting for the remainder of the item.
Concern was raised regarding a statement in the Labour group’s 2019 local election manifesto which stated objection to the proposed development, and it was queried as to whether committee members from the Labour group had predetermined their decision on the application.
In response, the Council’s Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that he was unaware of any evidence of predetermination by individual members on the committee.
Councillor Carol Wooldridge declared a prejudicial interest in the Pickerings Farm Masterplan as the ward councilor and local resident to the site. Councillor Wooldridge informed the committee that she would make her representations and then leave the meeting for the rest of its duration.
Councillor Michael Green also declared a personal interest in the Pickerings Farm Masterplan as a County Councillor and a member of Farington Parish Council.
To be signed as a correct record.
That the minutes of the previous meeting, held on Thursday, 27 August 2020, be approved as a correct record.
An update will be provided at the meeting.
It was agreed that an update on recent appeal decisions would be deferred until the next meeting of the Planning Committee, to enable members to fully concentrate on the application before them.
Report of the Director of Planning and Property attached.
RESOLVED: (Yes: 8 No: 4)
That the Pickerings Farm Masterplan, Design Code and Infrastructure Delivery Schedule as submitted by Taylor Wimpey and Homes England be refused as a result of concerns regarding highways; green infrastructure; ecology; drainage provisions; impact on air quality; lack of appropriate and necessary infrastructure; inappropriate mix of housing; and the impact on the residential amenity of the wider community.
The Committee received a report of the Director of Planning and Property which sought consideration of the Masterplan, Design Code and Infrastructure Delivery Schedule, as submitted by Taylor Wimpey and Homes England, for the Pickerings Farm site in Penwortham.
Five members of the public spoke in objection to the Masterplan on a range of topics including transport provisions, viability of the site and ecology concerns. Ward Councillors Carol Wooldridge and Ian Watkinson and Councillors Paul Foster (Leader of the Council), Matthew Trafford, Colin Clark, Michael Green and Karen Walton also spoke in objection.
Representatives of Homes England, Avison Young, Eddisons and 5Plus Architects were also in attendance.
Members of the committee felt strongly that the Masterplan and associated documents were grossly inadequate and inconsistent, and raised several concerns and areas for improvement.
During the discussion, emphasis was placed on the need for green infrastructure within the development and members requested an increased amount of green infrastructure and public open space in character with the rural area. There were also calls for the retention of the orchard, existing hedgerows and A- and B-type trees.
An ecology survey of the entire Masterplan site was also requested.
Concerns were also raised regarding proposed drainage provisions and air quality implications, with reference to increased traffic as a result of the development. A further Air Quality Assessment was requested in addition to robust air quality mitigation and management measures.
Discussion also centred around the Cross Borough Link Road and members felt strongly that work on this should be completed prior to the commencement of works on the development.
Members agreed that the Masterplan lacked significant detail. Commitment to completing the village centre in first phase of developmentand proposals for a train station and associated car parking were requested, in addition to further details on ‘Green Lanes’ and bus, cycle and pedestrian links to Kingsfold.
Significant concerns were raised regarding the proposed mix of housing and that this did not comply with policies 4, 6 and 8 in the Penwortham Neighbourhood Plan. It was felt that provisions for single-storey bungalows were necessary and that dwellings should be restricted to one- or two-storeys where adjacent to existing properties.
Removal of reference to 4-storey buildings, comprising of apartments, was also encouraged.
Members also empathised with local residents and queried the impact of the development on wider communities in Penwortham, Lostock Hall and Whitestake.
Councillor Cliff Hughes left the meeting at 7:55pm
Following careful consideration of these issues, in addition to the concerns raised in the Planning Officer’s report, an amendment was moved by Councillor Mary Green and seconded by Councillor Barrie Yates to defer the decision to allow the applicant opportunity to address the concerns made.
The vote on the Amended Motion was Yes: 6 No: 6 and the Chair declared that, subject to his casting vote, the Amended Motion was lost.
The Substantive Motion was moved by Councillor James Flannery, seconded by Councillor Will Adams, that the application be refused as a result of ... view the full minutes text for item 40.