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Getting My Head Around It

Getting My Head Around It

Having indulged in local planning laws over the past couple of years, I thought it was quite clear with the rules set out exactly what can/can’t be done depending on the circumstance of a building or an area.
 
I’ll give you three examples I have read recently which baffle to me no ends and continues my plight in understanding fully these apparently selective statements some people are using in light of proposed developments.
 
Mesnes Field
In a Conservation Area which is deemed by the authority of great importance. Many other planning applications have been turned down on this reason alone as a “detriment” to its current status.  A former Planning Officer and highly intelligent man in Martin Kimber foresaw the issues which could arise with any potential development and warned off anybody with an insight in to making a proposal. Town centre green space with a luscious playing surface (until the archaeological dig), a jewel in the crown. Planning Authority struggling to comprehend such development on a green site and are completely swayed by the feedback received by the English Heritage which moves the attitudes somewhat in to a position of let’s do it. Passed by Planning Committee.
 
 The Bell, Orrell
Beautiful open countryside with a development proposal afoot. Seemingly turned down and earned the full support of Chairman of the Planning Committee Coun Paul Prescott as he believes there’s a need to protect open green spaces.
 
Ashton Police Station/Old Banking Hall
The Police Station is within the Conservation Area. Coun Paul Tushingham comments how he hopes the new owners will have regard for the environment and the field at the back, bearing in mind it is part of a Conservation Area. The Old Banking Hall on Library St is in a Conservation Area and it’s usage is deemed to be restricted.
 
Just three examples with contrasting opinions, particularly on green open space but more importantly on the strength of a Conservation Area. Two contradictions came from Coun Prescott in light of passing the Mesnes Field development with no mind on open green space, but has a green space argument for The Bell.
 
Am I right in thinking these selective attitudes can be accommodated by twisting certain planning regulations and defining new meanings? I am not for one second suggesting that this goes on but I am deeply confused at the different opinions of developments in Conservation Areas.
 
Can anybody shed any light on this? Do leave a comment below you can remain anonymous if you like.
 

Andrew Lomax


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