Developers re-submit plans for four-storey flats block previously deemed ‘out of place’ by councillors and subject to more than 700 objections

Plans for a four-storey block of flats which prompted more than 700 objections and were unanimously thrown out by councilors in November have been re-submitted.

Watson Homes plans to build a block of 35 apartments and eight houses on a site on Grizedale Close in the Johnson Fold area of ​​Bolton and state they would be made up entirely of ‘affordable housing’ with funding from Homes England.

Bolton Council’s planning committee rejected similar plans for the same number of apartments and houses in November, with all 18 members of the committee turning down the application, citing that the development ‘would not be in keeping with the character and appearance of the area’.

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The application site contains the Somerville Bungalow and its large garden, a triangular parcel of land to the south and another bungalow on Grizedale Close.

Both bungalows would be demolished for the road access into the development.

Bolton Council received more than 80 objections to the previous proposal from residents, as well as a petition against it containing 650 names and an objection from Chris Green MP.

A CGI image of the proposed apartment block

Revised plans submitted in the past week from Watson state that they have made changes to the previously refused plans to ‘address the reasons for refusal’.

They include changes in scales and layout to the four-storey block as well as more information about ‘bio diversity net gain’.

Watson have revealed in the new documents that in tandem with the new application they have submitted an appeal on the refused scheme to the Planning Inspectorate.

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A planning statement from Watson in support of the proposals, said: “The applicant wishes to resubmit the application to address the
reasons for refusal, with amendments to the apartment block building whilst giving further justification towards biodiversity net-gain as well as clearly setting out that the proposal accords with local and national planning policy.”

At the November meeting around 30 objectors attended the meeting in person.

The committee heard from residents’ spokesman Paul Meredith.

He said: “The application is to put high density housing and an enormous high-rise block of flats in a small green space which is currently surrounded by low rise bungalows and houses.

“It is totally out of character and scale.

“it will have a severe adverse visual impact on surrounding residents and walkers using the right of way.

“Many mature trees will be felled, wildlife habitat and the existing wildlife corridor between Moss Bank Park and Doffcocker lodge and the moors will be destroyed.”

Councilors heard that the plans for the flats fell short of national standards for the amount of space for each flat.

At the time Smithills ward councilor Roger Hayes, said: “This is the wrong development on the wrong site.

“There have been a lot of trees felled and more to go and this will have an affect on biodiversity.

“This is a green field site in an urban area.

“A four-storey building is totally out of character with this area.”

The re-submitted plans and the separate appeal against the refusal of the previous scheme will be decided in the next few months.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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