PLANNING | 600 homes on Sefton agenda
Large-scale housing projects in Southport and Melling, along with a 34-home project in Formby, have all been recommended for approval at Sefton Council’s planning committee, despite some schemes being met with opposition by the area’s local MP.
The largest of the applications is by Wainhomes in a hybrid application covering a 24-acre site off Bankfield Lane, near the town’s botanical gardens. This includes a full application for 127 homes as part of the first phase, along with an outline application for a further 200 homes, all on land allocated for housing within the area’s local plan.
The first phase includes a mix of houses and apartments, including 62 two-beds, 27 three-beds and 31 four-beds, with 49 homes designated as affordable.
The plans, however, have been met with some opposition, particularly from the area’s MP Damian Moore, who argued local schools were “at maximum capacity and cannot accommodate additional pupils”.
He also argued the scheme offered “insufficient affordable housing” and would lead to “increased traffic and impact on local schools”. The area’s local councillor John Dodd has also objected to the scheme, sponsoring a petition signed by 73 objectors. An online petition against the scheme has also attracted 581 signatures.
However, Sefton planners have recommended the project for approval subject to a Section 106 agreement given “the principle of development” had been established in the area’s local plan.
“[The scheme] will assist in reducing the deficit in the Council’s housing land supply and will contribute towards meeting local affordable housing needs,” said the planners’ report.
Also recommended for approval is an application by Catalyst Capital to build 147 homes on a neighbouring site, formerly home to the Phillips Factory. This application returns to the planning committee after originally being due for consent in December last year.
The 14-acre site, which is allocated for housing use under Sefton’s Local Plan, is bordered by Rufford Road, Balmoral Drive, and North Road to the north of Southport town centre.
Buildings on the site have now largely been demolished after Phillips ceased operating at the site in 2003. The developer now plans to build 147 homes, including a mix of semi-detached, detached, and mews houses.
This will be split between 21 four-bed and 23 three-bed detached houses; 58 three-bed and 24 two-bed semi-detached homes; and 21 two-bed mews houses.
Alongside the homes, Catalyst will also create a 4.3-acre green space to the north of the site, and proposals have again been recommended for approval, subject to a Section 106 agreement.
Proposals by Bellway will also be discussed at the meeting. These include 149 homes on a site north off Waddicar Lane, Melling, which borders the existing Rainbow Park.
Bellway’s plans, supported by Cushman & Wakefield, include a mix of one, two, three, and four-bed homes, with 44 of these earmarked as affordable.
Like Wainhomes’ plans in Southport, this proposal has also been met with resistance by residents, with a number of petitions against the scheme put forward and endorsed by local councillor Anthony Carr.
Residents have argued against a loss of green space, the impact on the local road network, and concerns over safe access to the site.
Planning officers have recommended the scheme for approval subject to a Section 106 agreement, and argued the development would “provide a good range of housing for sale to meet identified local need”.
Elan Homes has also brought forward a reserved matters application for 34 homes in Formby, following on from an outline application granted in November 2016.
The site off Vicarage Close and Lenton Avenue is largely vacant, and planning officers have also recommended this scheme for approval.