Agenda item

Agenda item

135604/FO/2022 - Land to the rear of 354 Wilbraham Road, Manchester - Chorlton Park Ward

The report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing is enclosed.


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing that related to the erection of 65 dwellings (Use Class C3(a)), with associated infrastructure, including landscaping, ecological mitigation, drainage and car parking and access from Wilbraham Road. It also includes the demolition of a garage to the rear of 354 Wilbraham Road. It is also proposed to improve the floodlights on an adjacent site occupied by Maine Road FC.


The application site comprises an overgrown former playing field, it is understood this was last in use in 2016. In mitigation for the loss of the field, there is an agreed package of replaced and enhanced sport facilities.


The proposals were subject to the notification by way of 449 letters to nearby addresses, site notice posted at the site and advertisement in the Manchester Evening News.


In response 30 comments were received, 19 of these objecting to the proposals from 18 separate addresses, 11 comments were received in support.


The planning officer did not add anything to the report submitted.


An objector attended and addressed the Committee on the application stating that they were representing other local residents who wished for the Committee to undertake a site visit. It had been discovered that someone owns land that is part of the plot for development. Traffic on Wilbraham Road was very busy with two other side roads joining this road close to the proposed scheme. If allowed, the development would add to traffic issues in the area, and it was expressed that there was no detailed consideration of this within the reports. The layout of dwellings in this application were not in keeping with others in the area, being 2.5 storeys tall as opposed to 2 storeys. There was a threat to the urban character of the area and there had not been enough consideration to the flood risk posed at this site. Residents and land engineer had discussed flooding issues, but this had not appeared in the reports. The mitigation for the loss of this plot as a playing field was to be covered at Alexandra Park but the objector questioned if residents local to the park had been consulted on this.


The agent for the applicant attended and addressed the Committee on the application stating that all land at the site was under the applicant’s control. The applicant works with disadvantaged children across Manchester and were looking at redundant land for building opportunities following funding cuts to the associated charities supported by the applicant. The site had last been used for sports in 2016 and had no on-site facilities. The applicant had engaged with local residents and Ward Councillors and conveyed that the scheme was acceptable. The playing pitch mitigation was covered by nearby availability at Alexandra Park. There was a clear need for affordable family homes in Manchester and this proposal would feature 13 homes with a mix of social rent and mortgages. Air source heat pumps would be installed at all residences meaning no gas boilers would be installed. There were no road safety issues with the scheme as each dwelling had space for two cars with electric vehicle charging and cycle storage. Gardens would be fully vegetated making this a sustainable development. It was stated that there had been no objections received and the Committee was requested to approve the application.


Local Ward Councillor Midgley addressed the Committee stating that this proposal met a need for affordable housing in the area. The applicant had made modifications to match houses in the locality and reduced the initial proposed number of dwellings. The number of affordable rental dwelling had been raised from 4 to 7 and also 6 first time buyers would be able to get onto the property ladder. In their closing statement, Councillor Midgley felt that there was a need for some assistance with traffic calming measures to Wilbraham Road.


The planning officer stated that the grant of planning permission would not override any legal issues such as land ownership and this was a matter that the developer would need to resolve. Regarding flood risk concerns, this had a full drainage scheme attached and there would be additional tree planting which would assist with any overlooking issues. The design of the residences had been considered acceptable, the loss of what was previously a playing field had been addressed and this would provide much needed affordable housing. The planning officer concluded by stating that a new junction subject to traffic regulation orders would be created for this development.


Councillor Flanagan noted objectors concerns and felt they had to be balanced with the need for affordable housing in this area. He proposed to move the officer’s recommendation of Minded-to-Approve for the application with an added condition, whereby the developer would contribute towards traffic calming measures. If this could not be a condition, then it was requested that Highways officers work with Local Ward Councillors.


The Director of Planning referred the Committee to Condition 7 regarding highways works and explored the potential for rewording of this condition to address any impacts on the highway and concerns raised by the Committee. If this was agreeable, the Director of Planning stated that this could be delegated to herself to make the required arrangements with the Chair of the Planning and Highways Committee.


Councillor Flanagan stated that this was agreeable and satisfied his earlier proposal to move the officer’s recommendation of Minded-to-Approve for the application with the Director of Planning’s recent comments as a condition.


Councillor Riasat enquired on the legal issue with the entrance to the site if there were an actual dispute regarding land ownership and asked where this would lead to.


The planning officer stated that there was only one access point and if this area was in dispute the developer may not be able to gain access and therefore would not be able to implement the planning permission.


Councillor Andrews seconded the proposal from Councillor Flanagan.




The Committee agreed the officer’s recommendation of Minded-to-Approve for the application with an added condition whereby both the Director and Chair of the Planning and Highways Committee, would amend condition 7, to address the concerns of the Committee regarding impact on the highway and traffic.


(Councillor Leech declared an interest in this item and left the room for the duration, taking no part in the discussion or decision-making process).

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