Magenta Living’s plans for 46 retirement and extra care apartments on a former pub site on Arrowe Park Road have been refused for a second time.
The proposals to redevelop the now-vacant Woodchurch site, which formerly housed the Stirrup pub, went to committee late in 2020, months after a proposal for 15 dwellings had been passed.
That proposal was refused on grounds that included scale, massing and not fitting the character of the streetscape. Magenta appealed that decision, but earlier this year a planning inspector upheld Wirral’s view that the proposed development was “obtrusive and overly dominant”.
Taking that on board, the proposed scheme was altered by Magenta and advisor Paddock Johnson Partnership for its latest rendition.
Although still mostly at three storeys, one difference is that the proposed building now sits to the southern part of the site, creating a larger break with the row of cottages to the north of the site.
Also, the amenity space is subsequently now sited to the south of the proposed building and parking to the north, providing improved amenity for future residents.
The building is also set further back into the site, allowing for an area of meaningful landscaping to the front.
In addition, further design work has been carried out to break up the long frontage and “produce a building which has much more character, depth and interest” according to planning officers, who recommended approval.
However, 29 objections had been made ahead of the committee meeting, which was addressed by Nigel Roberts, representing objectors.
During the debate, members did mostly agree that the reworked scheme is preferable, with one describing it as “less monotonous” than the first iteration.
However, a majority voted against the project, believing that it is still too large a scheme.
Committee chair Stuart Kelly, similarly to the project’s first dismissal, said that development “would result in a scale and form of development that fails to relate sufficiently to the existing built form adjacent to and surrounding the site that does not provide a consistent and coherent setting for the space or street that it defines”.