PLANNING | West Lancs approves homes and hotel extension, Aldi withdrawn
An application to build an Aldi supermarket on a 2.7-acre plot in Tarleton has been withdrawn from the council’s agenda pending further consideration, while a 60-home scheme in Skelmersdale and an extension to the Briars Hall Hotel in Burscough were approved.
Retailer Aldi’s application to develop on the site of a former Indian restaurant was withdrawn from West Lancashire’s planning committee agenda last Thursday to allow officers more time to consider the proposals and fulfil several outstanding requirements. A council spokesperson said that the item is expected to be recommended for approval at the next planning committee meeting on 20 February, but that discussions on that agenda have yet to commence.
Developer Southworth Construction’s Skelmersdale housing scheme, which was deferred at a planning committee in October, was approved on Thursday in line with officers’ recommendations.
The application outlines plans for 21 two-bedroom, 28 three- and 11 four-bedroom properties, plus space for 12 allotments and a Boy Scouts centre with associated car parking on the 5.5-acre site of former playing fields.
Of the 60, 12 homes are to be built for elderly people in line with a requirement in West Lancashire Local Plan that 20% of new residential units should be suitable for this demographic.
Sport England had objected to the development and suggested that the applicant makes a financial contribution of £290,000 for the proposed loss of the playing fields in order to build the homes.
But the committee concluded: “It has been demonstrated that the playing fields are unsuitable for retention because they were under-used, of poor quality and poorly located.
“Moreover, part of the site is to be used for more appropriate allotment or community uses relating to recreational demand in the area, and this is in part mitigation for the loss of formal playing pitches.”
Aaron Crick of RPS Design Group, the architect for the project, said: “We believe this site provides a great opportunity for the local community. It will create much needed low-cost housing. The development will also include a local community facility as well as much needed designated allotment spaces’.
Meanwhile, plans to extend Briars Hall Hotel were also approved on Thursday in line with officers’ recommendations.
The development proposes the construction of a 5,000 sq ft, single-storey, L-shaped structure to the west of the main building containing 22 accommodation units, which will double the capacity of the hotel.
A single-storey 2,000 sq ft events space as an extension to the west of the existing hotel will also be constructed, together with a 1,000 sq ft extension to the kitchen to the north of the property.
The application is a re-draft of plans initially submitted in 2018 but subsequently withdrawn. A committee report noted that the proposed development would originally have been deemed inappropriate due to its position in the Green Belt, but that the applicant has justified the scheme and said the likely improvements would outweigh any harm to the Green Belt.
The architect for the project is Liverpool-based Snook Architects.
Place North West will be hosting a Lancashire Development Update on 13 February.