Much-needed new homes in Neston town centre had unanimous approval.
The application was put forward on garden land adjacent to 16 Parkgate Road by John Ferguson of JLF Developments Ltd.
Mr Ferguson told planning officers he was seeking approval for 10 apartments on part of the former garden of grade II listed Vine House. The plot is also within the Neston conservation area.
The development was called before the borough’s planning committee by Neston ward councillor Andy Williams (Lab) due to concerns the new build would be overdevelopment, there was insufficient car parking and the increased amount of traffic entering Parkgate Road at a pinch point would be unsafe.
Wirral based architect Stephen Quicke spoke in support of the application as agent for the developers and Cllr Williams against.
Neston Town Council objected as it believed the development would raise highway safety issues and the design failed to satisfy various points in the Neston Neighbourhood Plan. The council felt the apartments would not reflect the character of the area and failed to provide visually attractive architecture, landscaping and public space.
Six representations were received from neighbours including comments the development could worsen existing car parking problems in the area, particularly on Beechways Drive and the apartments would be overdevelopment. It would not preserve the character of the conservation area or the listed building, occupiers felt and would have a detrimental effect on the amenity of the gardens of surrounding properties.
One resident had no objection in principle subject to an increase in the car parking. There were no objections from highways or conservation officers.
The scheme would provide eight two-bedroom apartments and two three-bedroom apartments over three storeys councillors heard. The design used reclaimed bricks with a slate roof and the second floor accommodation would be provided in the roof space.
Planning officers pointed out the apartments would be within the centre of Neston which was an identified key service centre.
The Neston Neighbourhood Plan encouraged developers to take account of the needs of the area in providing small family and non-family homes and smaller sized housing to allow older people to downsize and stay in the area.
Although the 12 twelve car parking spaces proposed for the 10 apartments was below current and emerging car parking standards, the homes would be within the town centre with good accessibility to services and other modes of transport.
There was at least one car parking space for each apartment and the highways officer considered there were no over-riding safety or other aspects which would justify planning permission being withheld.
Additional traffic would have a negligible effect.
The development had taken on board advice from the council’s conservation officer and planners believed it would preserve the character of the conservation area and that of Vine House and a nearby listed wall.
There would be no significant increase in possible overlooking. The application was recommended for approval and councillors granted unanimous permission for the ‘much-needed’ type of accommodation.