Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Phythian Pub at planning

Good news and bad news really, were the order of the day at the Planning Committee on 4th November.

I went to speak against plans to do up the Phythian Pub on Farnworth Street - not in their entirety, I am all in favour of bringing empty pubs back into use and also happy with plans for residential use on the upper floors, what was the real sticking point was the plan for a shop on part of the ground floor.

I should say I dont make a habit of going to Planning Committees, indeed this may have been only my second visit since being elected, so that shows just how important this decision was for our residents. More than 80 of them had written individual letters against plans for a shop in the old pub, because they were deeply anxious about attracting anti-social behaviour, groups hanging about outside, something that has become a huge problem in our area.

I also explained about our concurrent bid for alleygates to surround the pub, something which has support from all residents and from the owner himself. I said that I thought we needed to consider the impact of these gates on the plans, limiting for example the access to parking.

A Labour councillor, John McIntosh, proposed that they should have a site visit befor deciding on the merits of the application but it seemed to me that it then became politicised as the other Labour members of the committee supported him and the LibDems voted to accept the application without such a factfinding visit.

It came down in the end to the casting vote of the Chair of Planning - a LibDem and he voted to okay the plans without bothering to find out whether alleygates would affect access or egress to the site.

I was deeply disappointed, as are all of the residents, and we feel we have been hard done to, not in the decision to accept the plans necessarily, but in the decision not to bottom out the detail. I cannot help but feel it was shabby not to insist on being in posession of all the facts before taking a decision

The good news is that the Planning Officers have listened to some degree and the shop would have to close by 8pm at the latest, so not a victory but a concession in the right direction at least.


scouseboy said...

so much for them being liberal or democratic then!!!

steve faragher said...

this might be a good sign, maybe they have given up on keeping the electorate sweet to win the seat back, at the next election perhaps the "Boaler Triangle" is beign touted as hot spot of socialism......RED KENNY