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SRA meeting with Northstone regarding development

The SRA has recently met representatives of Northstone/Peel to find out about their plans to build on the Golf Course.

This is what we said and what we found out.

We acknowledged that housing will now be built on the Golf Course. We note that the current plan outlined by the developer in their publicity/ consultation leaflet is to build 208 houses. This is a lower number than 300 in their application of 2017, but while our views have had influence, the developer still has the right to build up to 276 houses on the site. It is worthwhile continuing to express our views to influence development and its wider impact on Horwich. The developer’s reserved matters application is likely to be with the Council and available to view later this month [April 2022].

The smaller development which the developer has now proposed may be considering the enormous landscape and amenity value of the area, and concerns about access which the SRA has highlighted over the last four and a half years. But it could simply be economics.

However, we still consider that three accesses to the site are unnecessary and that there should be a single access to the site through Victoria Road.

We remain concerned about landscaping. The current consultation document, which the developer agreed was very difficult to read, does not show clearly where the vegetation barriers are. To us it suggests that if Phase 3 of the development were to go ahead, there would be few if any vegetation barriers at all to protect the landscape value of the top of the field. The developer said that Phase 3 was not in their reserved matters application. But we should remember that they can come forward with an application for that area at any time!

The developer was not able to tell us what their plans are for the rest of the area. We know Northstone/Peel has a legal interest in the fields all the way up to Fleet Street. We were unhappy with their answer, and we continue to have concerns that in time, some developer or other will try to acquire all the green fields right up to Fleet Street and housing will be built all over the area.

What can you do?

Everybody has a view and your views count.

You can still get your voice heard by writing to:

· the Council,

· your local councillors,

· to Northstone,

· to Peel,

· to your MP,

We can request that the scheme protects the landscape and amenity value of the site.

You may also have other concerns, such as traffic to put forward.

· You can also support Places for Everyone because this plan will ensure – if it goes ahead – that the top fields will become green belt.

Background information:

Reserved Matters Application: ‘An application for Approval of Reserved Matters is only required when the applicant already has outline planning permission for a development. This cannot be used as a stand-alone application for planning permission.

Outline planning applications are used to gain an understanding as to whether the nature of a development is acceptable, this can help ensure viability up front. Specific details known as ‘reserved matters’ can then be confirmed later.

After approval of outline planning consent, reserved matters must be submitted to gain the right for development. This deals with the outstanding details which were omitted from the outline planning application. These reserved matters can include:

  • Appearance - aspects of a building or place which affect the way it looks, including the exterior of the development

  • Means of access - covers accessibility for all routes to and within the site, as well as the way they link up to other roads and pathways outside the site

  • Landscaping - the improvement or protection of the amenities of the site and the area and the surrounding area, this could include planting trees or hedges as a screen

  • Layout - includes buildings, routes and open spaces within the development and the way they are laid out in relations to buildings and spaces outside the development

  • Scale - includes information on the size of the development, including each proposed building

The details of the reserved matters application must be in line with the outline approval, including any conditions attached to the permission. If your proposals have changed in any way, you may need to reapply for outline or full planning permission’.

From Planning Portal Website: https://www.planningportal.co.uk

Places for Everyone: ‘Places for Everyone is a long-term plan of nine Greater Manchester districts (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) for jobs, new homes, and sustainable growth. It has been prepared by the GMCA on behalf of the nine districts.

The plan will determine the kind of development that takes place across the city-region, maximising the use of brownfield land and urban spaces while protecting green belt land from the risk of unplanned development.

It will also ensure all new developments are sustainably integrated into Greater Manchester’s transport network or supported by new infrastructure.’

From https://www.bolton.gov.uk/planning-policy-strategy/greater-manchester-spatial-framework-consultation

Horwich Neighbourhood Plan:A Neighbourhood Plan is a way of helping local communities to influence the planning of the area in which they live in work, giving them more control over the type, location, size, pace and design of development in their area, while taking into account national, regional and borough planning requirements.

With the support of the Town Council, an advisory group has been set up with a view to preparing a report on the viability of producing a Neighbourhood Plan for Horwich and associated tasks leading to its adoption. The group consists of three Town Councillors and interested residents and members with various skills and experience.

Horwich Town Council while having lead responsibility for neighbourhood planning in Horwich acknowledges that the content of the Plan must be driven by the community, drawing on skills and expertise of local people to ensure high levels of community engagement throughout the whole process.’

For further information or to contact the group email: horwichneighbourhoodplan@gmail.com

From: https://www.horwich.gov.uk/neighbourhood_planning.html