Plans to demolish a large detached house on Adlington Road, which is now surrounded by a new development of just over 200 homes, and replace it with seven new dwellings have been approved, two months after being refused.
The Northern Planning Committee refused the proposed scheme at their meeting in March on the grounds that the proposed access would result in the direct loss of a protected oak tree; it represents overdevelopment of the site and is out of character with the surrounding area which is mainly large houses fronting Adlington Road in their own grounds.
However, due to "a potential issue of pre- determination with the previous resolution" the application was presented to Southern Planning Committee for a fresh consideration at their meeting on Wednesday, 30th May.
Members of the Southern Planning Committee went against the planning officer's recommendation for refusal, on the grounds that the loss of the protected oak tree is unacceptable and would override any benefits of the proposal, and approved the planning application.
Eight members voted to approve the planning application, whilst one member voted against and one abstained.
Councillor Craig Browne, who sits on the Northern Planning Committee as Vice Chair, explained "The application had been recommended for refusal by the planning officer, it had also been refused at Northern Planning Committee a couple of months ago, but that decision was subsequently considered unsound, due to one of the members potentially being pre-determined.
"Members of Southern Planning Committee felt that the reason for refusal (the removal of a single Category B/C Oak Tree, covered by a Tree Preservation Order) would be difficult to defend at appeal and that the proposed mitigation measures proposed by the applicant (felling of the oak tree and replacement with 7 semi-mature specimens) were adequate."
Councillor Toni Fox, Independent Councillor for the Dean Row ward, said "Committee members felt that the single reason for refusal - the removal of the oak tree protected by a TPO - would not be upheld at appeal, particularly as to mitigate its loss the applicant proposes to plant 9 new trees."
She added "Committee members did however request that conditions were attached to the approval including that permitted development rights are withdrawn from the new properties and that the new tree's being planted in mitigation are included in the group TPO protection on the rest of the site."