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Bewsey Old Hall


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In theory; planning decisions are supposed to be made on the "planning merits" of each case: in practise, they are more often made on the "political merits" of the case. After all, objectors have a vote at a local election, developers don't. However, developers do have the right of appeal, which allows a "non-political" (some might say totally theoretical person), Planning Inspector to adjudicate, hence many "political" decisions are overturned at appeal or even public inquiry. Then of course, politics re-enters the system, IF (usually with major planning apps); the Secretary of State for the Enviroment "calls it in"; then "planning policies" are conveniently subordinated to "political expediancy". :roll::wink:

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Often happens where a "political" vote is made; the Planning Cttee are basically "playing to the crowd" and being seen by "the voters" to be "voting the right way"; often without a clue as to what "planning reasons" are being employed (the officers can add that later!), and in some cases, knowing the Inspector will overturn their decision - touch of the Pontius Pilate! :wink:

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... the absolute lack of community benefit...

 

Contributing to the economic regeneration of the area and the enhancement of its environment (including other listed buildings) are community benefits.

This surely is your attempt at humour. How the hell do 48 glass boxes improve upon a parkland environment?

What economic regeneration? How do local people benefit? Perhaps they benefit by having their childrens reactions improved by them having to dodge a lot more traffic in what is already a traffic blackspot.

 

 

But so are other less obvious ones, and presumably the main community benefit argued was providing a long-term solution to what to do with a significant listed building.

 

Yes lets turn them all into flats. Very expensive above average costing flats so that even when we add the "affordable" tag to them they will still cost 150% the price of the affordable levels laid down by the council. The fact that the flats development offer much less in the way of affordable housing than the Councils affordable housing percentage targets seems to elude you.

 

I'm just acutely aware of other listed buildings not finding an alternative use because of opposition (often from conservation officers) and then they just deteriorate.

 

Which ones are these pray tell?

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Basically, at the end of the day, political and economic expediency rules the roost; this is enshrined in the 1947 Planning Act, which contains "a presumption in favour of development". :roll: This will now be reinforced by the present Government with their proposed legislation to "speed up" the planning process - clearly (from their point of view) too many "nimbys" slowing things down! :shock::wink:

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But this was an "enabling Development" Observer, separate from the normal rules and regulations and it was still voted down by every councillor on the committee. They seem to be also making sure that this is the end of it and that no room for manoever will be allowed to the proposed develpers. And, had you seen the chap from Urban Splash's face and spoken to him and the man from English Partnerships you too would be doubting an appeal. Sorry if I sound like I'm gloating as I do not mean to.

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Presume your referring to houses? :? This has exploded due to falsely created demand (easy lending), giving rise to a totally surreal price inflation, and now the bubble has burst. :shock: The reality is; that most folk can't afford to BUY a house, and will be reliant on the rented sector; in the old days this was catered for by the building of Council Housing - but that was under (old) Labour Governments rather than a NEW Labour Government! :roll::wink:

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Sad but true obs. No wonder there is a sudden massive increase in demand for council/socialy rented housing in the area (sorry I forgot it's called 'affordable' housing now ). But its NOT affordable for those who need it to be to enable them to get on the housing ladder for the first time is it.

 

While the private developers still continue to come into the area and pillage all the brown field and other available sites sites for their private sale 'your really want to live here..it's the in place to be... sites' raking in all the money :roll: the affordable housing quota of the developments are either not feasible so a commuted sum is handed over to be used elsewhere or if they are provided they are usually flats and/or private landlord owned.... so they will never be owned by a family only borrowed.

 

Now we are starting to see the spread of over development into community areas of open green space which are now being earmarked for housing association rented family homes to meet the needs that should have already been met. At least some of these are houses with gardens for a change but the only reason why this is happening is becasue there is nowhere else left to build them in Warrington.

 

Did that make sense? Bit Late... I'm tired... :?:wink:

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Surely home ownership is far better in the long term though obs (or was anyway :shock: )

 

I suppose it depends on why you are having to rent. Those who can't afford to get a mortgage, who face reposession, who don't have good paying jobs, credit ratings etc may have no choice but to accept 'affordably' rented homes.

 

On the other hand you have those who chose to rent for other reasons such as job location or just becasue they like to move about the country.

 

But surely renting is in the long term just money thrown down the drain because at the end of it the house is not yours. You can't sell it, you cant move up in the housing ladder and in some rented property you can't even change the decor without having your landlords permission and what if your landlord decides to sell up ?

 

Houses round here rent for anything upwards of ?600 per month... that's a huge chunk of money to have someone elses roof over your head :shock: You're basically paying another persons mortgage for them and they get all the profit :shock:

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but they also take all the risk when the housing market starts to fall and they have to pay for all repairs to keep their roof above your head. They also have to pay for annual gas inspections and heaven knows what else.

 

Don't just assume that it is a win win for all landlords!

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Possibly Baz but I'm not convinced :wink:

 

A lot of curent landlords (or property developers/inversters as some like to be known) have been lucky as they had the either the capital available or got buy to let low mortgages which enabled them to snap up the cheaper houses at some stage, do them up and they are now managing to charge a rather large monthly rate to rent them out which is way over what some people would actually be paying in mortgage payments had they not been pipped at the post by what was an easy, quick and guaranteed sale for the seller :wink:

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Whilst it's true - "it's dead money"; most have no choice. :roll: The "market" led folk into believing they could afford it, with 100% mortgages etc; it even gave rise to the belief that a house was "an investment" rather than a home. :roll: Well now the bubbles well and truly burst; but what's sad is that there remains no such thing as "cheap" rented accomodation, so to most it's expensive "dead" money. :cry:

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Well do do have the situation that a lot of people who rent out houses have to achieve a certain rate in order to pay their mortgages. My own cousin has a couple of properties in town yet he lives in Austrailia!

 

He needs to raise so much money a month to pay his mortgages but then you get the situation that he found himself in a few months ago when the tenants at the time upped and left overnight without paying the rent for two months.

 

So as I said, not everything is great being a landlord either!

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So as I said, not everything is great being a landlord either!

 

That is true, but it is a voluntary choice to be a landlord. Many people became "landlords" on the back of the ease of obtaining by to let mortgages coupled to the then reality of capital appreciation.

 

The problem with the UK economy of the last decade is that it has been generally based on greed and consumption, and that is why we find ourselves where we are.

 

I personally think home ownership is a good thing, there is just something about turning the front door key and knowing the home is ones own, for me it has never been about capital appreciation. I accept that I have been fortunate to be in a position to be able to buy my homes, and have been since I was 21.

 

It will be interesting to see what decisions my Sons will make about renting/buying...and whether if they decide they would like to buy, their lender of first choice will be The M&D Bank Plc. :wink::)

 

PS Just looking back at the details I've kept of the homes I've owned and I notice that my first home in Stockport in 1977, a new 3 bed semi....with garage.....was bought for just under ?10,000. If I recall correctly I think my salary back in 77 was about ?3,000 + commission.....and a car!

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I think as Baz says, being a landlord is probably no bed of roses. And whilst I agree with Paul that landlords choose to do that job, just as most of us have chosen to do a job, it doesn't mean that they are also greedy whatsits. Landlords are just people who are prepared to take risks. We do have Maggie to thank for inculcating the idea of home ownership for all, and for allowing the majority of the council housing stock to be sold. Actually, if it wasn't for the private rented sector, where would people live?

I have lived in rented accomodation in the past-of variable standards and with variable landlords.

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry to bounce this open again, but I just wondered what people thought about the "water tight" reasons for refusal that have been prepared by the Council for discussion by the planning committee tomorrow night?

 

Strategic Director of Environment & Regeneration Services

Report Author: J Groves

 

Draft Reasons For Refusal

 

Application: 2007/10550 and 2007/10577

Bewsey Old Hall Sankey Valley Warrington

 

 

1. The proposed use of the Old Hall as residential apartments will result in loss of public access to the interior of the building and to the features of historic and architectural interest within the interior of the property. Current access and the amenity value of the building will be lost. Development will be contrary to the general provisions of PPG 15 - Planning and the Historic Environment and policy BH1 of the Warrington Unitary Development Plan.

 

2. The proposed new residential development is considered to be of a design, scale and form incompatible with its semi-rural, parkland setting. The form and appearance of the new development would be incompatible with the wider setting of the listed building to which the development relates. The development is contrary to the provisions of policy DCS1 of the Warrington Unitary Development Plan which relate to impact on the character and appearance of the area and the historic environment. The development is similarly contrary to the provisions of policy BH3 which seeks prevent detrimental impact on the character and wider setting of the listed building.

 

3. The proposal would create areas of parking the design of which would either need extensive security provision or would attract misuse and anti-social behaviour, to the detriment of the amenity of users of the park and residents of the proposed residential development.

 

4. The proposed residential development is contrary to the provisions of the policies HOU1 and 2 of the Unitary Development Plan and Supplementary Planning Document - Managing the Housing Supply. The development results in addition to the level of housing supply across the Borough. The failure of the development to support an appropriate and acceptable scheme to support the renovation and maintenance of the Old Hall and its surroundings or to bring the Hall to a viable and acceptable use, limits scope for exception to these policies.

 

Personally I think that the Council is going to have to get some consultants in to try and make these reasons stick. Once you overturn an officer's recommendation, it is folly to then ask those same officers to fight against their own professional view. The appellant's QC is going to have a field day with this one :D

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Sorry to bounce this open again, but I just wondered what people thought about the "water tight" reasons for refusal that have been prepared by the Council for discussion by the planning committee tomorrow night?

 

They seem pretty bland reasons to me and not at all water tight. I recon they could easily be overturned .. :roll: although I am no expert in the field of development refusals and the reason for of course. Main problem I can see against continued refusal is that English Partnerships actually own the building. If WBC's refusal is upheld then EP could quite easily just sit on it until it is totally beyond repair, after all it is already on the buildings at risk register :roll: However saying that, being on the 'at risk' register does now give access to other funding alternatives to save the building... but of course that would need a plan of action and alternative use/developement plan being on the cards.... IS THERE ONE :wink:

 

Anyway as a complete novice in the field of planning here are my comments.

 

I bet not one word of the following will make sense ha ha but I know what mean :lol:

 

Strategic Director of Environment & Regeneration Services

Report Author: J Groves

 

Draft Reasons For Refusal

 

Application: 2007/10550 and 2007/10577

Bewsey Old Hall Sankey Valley Warrington

 

 

1. The proposed use of the Old Hall as residential apartments will result in loss of public access to the interior of the building and to the features of historic and architectural interest within the interior of the property. Current access and the amenity value of the building will be lost. Development will be contrary to the general provisions of PPG 15 - Planning and the Historic Environment and policy BH1 of the Warrington Unitary Development Plan.

 

I presume at present (becasue of it's demise and safety implications) that the public do notactually have open access to the interior of the building so thats not a stable reason and one which will be upheld. Architecturally of course it is a superb example... but needs work :wink:

 

PPG 15 and the UDP are easily overturned :roll:

 

Strategic Director of Environment & Regeneration Services

Report Author: J Groves

 

2. The proposed new residential development is considered to be of a design, scale and form incompatible with its semi-rural, parkland setting. The form and appearance of the new development would be incompatible with the wider setting of the listed building to which the development relates. The development is contrary to the provisions of policy DCS1 of the Warrington Unitary Development Plan which relate to impact on the character and appearance of the area and the historic environment. The development is similarly contrary to the provisions of policy BH3 which seeks prevent detrimental impact on the character and wider setting of the listed building.

 

Maybe, but yet again DSC1, UPD and BH3 could be overturned simply becasue what we have now is a boarded up, unused listed building :shock: which if left as it is will be lost. Blame there goes to the current owners in my opinion :roll::wink:

 

Strategic Director of Environment & Regeneration Services

Report Author: J Groves

 

3. The proposal would create areas of parking the design of which would either need extensive security provision or would attract misuse and anti-social behaviour, to the detriment of the amenity of users of the park and residents of the proposed residential development.

 

Have there been any incidents of misuse and antisocial behaviour on the current land or arround the current boarded up building as it is :roll: Not a good enough reason and one that could be addressed if needed by a determined developer :wink:

 

Strategic Director of Environment & Regeneration Services

Report Author: J Groves

 

4. The proposed residential development is contrary to the provisions of the policies HOU1 and 2 of the Unitary Development Plan and Supplementary Planning Document - Managing the Housing Supply. The development results in addition to the level of housing supply across the Borough. The failure of the development to support an appropriate and acceptable scheme to support the renovation and maintenance of the Old Hall and its surroundings or to bring the Hall to a viable and acceptable use, limits scope for exception to these policies.

 

Again quoting the UDP, along with HOU 'this that and the other' is a waste of time... it's all being replaced anyway and is very open to different interpretaion when it suits :wink: Management of housing supply etc.... out of the window as more are now being approved especially when the word 'affordable' in included. What is the % for Bewsey by the way :wink:

 

As for overturning an officers recomendation and then asking them to fight against their own view.... they do what they are told in don't they :wink:

 

Of course all this could probably just another way of the officers / dev control board saving face by appearing to care on both sides of the arguement in the hope that someone else will make the final decision... and the buck has successfully been passed............ allegidly :wink::D

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