A plan to build six homes on greenbelt land has been dismissed, amid claims it will “ruin” nearby views.
Last night’s meeting of Wirral Council’s planning committee made the call, with councillors voting unanimously against the plan.
Under the proposal, six two-storey houses would have been built on land at Chicken Corner Farm on Raby Mere Road in Raby.
Normally, no development is allowed on the greenbelt, but there are exemptions.
This plan relied on an exemption stating that if land has already been built on, it can be built on again providing the new plan does not have a greater impact on the greenbelt than the previous development.
At this site, there are already single storey commercial buildings.
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But the committee had a major concern with the height of the planned homes.
Conservative councillor Mary Jordan said the current single storey buildings at the site made the view open.
She suggested that driving past you would not particularly notice them, so although they were not pretty they did not harm the landscape.
But Cllr Jordan felt the two storey homes would have a negative impact on the nearby grade 2 listed building and “ruin the whole aspect of the corner”.
The homes would be 8.75 metres high, almost double the 4.4 metre height of the current single storey buildings.
Attempting to defend the plan, Steve Grimster, the applicant’s agent, said that while the height of the homes would be greater than the current buildings, the floor space would be less.
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He also felt that the homes would be attractive buildings which would improve the greenbelt.
On the impact the height of the proposal would have on the look of the site, he noted that the homes would be setback further into the site meaning the impact on people’s views would not be so big.
But councillors were not convinced by this.
Tory councillor Cherry Povall thought the homes would impact on the street scene and “overshadow” the grade 2 listed building.
Although he ended up agreeing with the reasons for refusal, Labour’s Steve Foulkes said committee members had been sent threatening emails about the prospect of development on greenbelt land.
He wanted to inform the public that there are reasons why building on greenbelt land can be permitted, as discussed earlier.
Ultimately, the planning committee unanimously agreed to refuse the application, with Labour’s Sam Frost proposing that the development should be blocked as it would have a greater impact on the openness of the greenbelt than the current buildings at the site.
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