A decision on proposals to demolish the Old House at Home pub and build houses on Burton Road between Didsbury and Withington has been deferred by Manchester City Council’s planning committee after the scheme was heavily criticised by councillors.
The OMI-designed scheme features 12-four bed family houses for developer Britannia, which bought the site at the end of last year. The pub on the site has been closed since the latter part of 2017 and is now vacant.
The developer’s proposals were recommended for approval by city council planning officers but a decision was deferred at yesterday’s meeting after the plans came under fire by local councillors.
Old Moat ward councillor Gavin White set out “strong objections” to the scheme, backed by two other ward councillors, focussing on the “constrained nature” of the site, while arguing the proposals “were too high at three storeys” and “still too close to properties on Newton Avenue” to the rear.
He argued the objections, which include 81 responses from locals, were not against the principle of development on the site, but against the “overbearing impact” of the scheme.
“The overshadowing and loss of light would be an unacceptable loss of amenity for existing residents”, argued White. He also questioned the developer’s usage of data for car usage statistics, which are from the 2011 census.
White’s view was echoed by Cllr Basil Curley, who criticised the project as “not a little bit of overdevelopment but a mega-overdevelopment of the site”, a view supported by Cllr Matt Strong and Cllr James Wilson, who also cited the loss of privacy and residential amenity.
Councillor said they would be minded to refuse the proposals but the scheme will now return to committee next month with an updated report from planning officers.
In their report to committee, planning officers said: “It is acknowledged that the application site poses some challenges given its configuration. It is also recognised that given its past use as a public house which comprised a single building and car park, any development will have a noticeable impact.”
Following changes to the scheme, including the reduction in the number of homes, a reduction in height to the rear of the site, and the removal of terraces and balconies, planners said the proposals were “acceptable and accord with national and local planning policies”.
The professional team features planner NJL; heritage consultant Wardell Armstrong; ecologist Urban Green; and transport consultant SCP.