Halsall Residents Against Planning

Achive Material

Q local/ormskirk

MP Rosie calls for help over planning shambles


Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has written to the Planning Inspectorate Chief Executive asking for an investigation into local planning application shambles.

Dalton residents have contacted MP Rosie to express their lack of confidence in the Borough Council’s planning process and the Planning Committee. In May, the plans for a development on Long Heys Lane, Dalton, were considered by the Committee. It was decided to defer the decision after controversial rulings and votes on whether to reject the plans.

These plans are next due before the Planning Committee at its meeting on 20th June 2013.

Speaking ahead of the meeting MP Rosie said:

“This case highlights some very serious and deep concerns about how planning decisions are being taken by the Borough Council".

“We have a situation in which the Council have failed to pursue planning enforcement on this site; the plans submitted don’t appear to make sense; the procedure followed in taking the votes was shambolic and appeared to be irregular; and the wishes of the Committee Members as shown by the vote on the motion to refuse the application appear to have been over-ruled.

“All of this has led to local residents losing confidence in the planning process".

“Besides writing to West Lancashire Borough Council’s Planning Department, I’ve also written to the Planning Inspectorate. I feel that the Council need to get some help and advice, before residents completely lose faith in the planning process in West Lancashire. It is the residents who will have to live with the consequences of some really poor planning decisions, all of which could have been avoided.”

  1. I have no faith in WLBC which in the case of the current local plan simply massaged the evidence to shore up a politically motivated strategic planning strategy.

    At least one key fundamental decision that affected the strategic planning of the entire district was delegated to cabinet then voted through by councillors who all appeared to follow the party line set by cabinet.

    The process was neither transparently logical nor transparently honest. We the residents and local taxpayers will eventually have to sort out the mess.
by Gavin R; 14/06/2013


13 June 2013

Vacant homes not included in new homes calculations

THE number of vacant homes in West Lancashire is nearing 2,000, as the Local Plan – West Lancashire’s planning policy for the next 15 years – calls for 4,858 new-build properties.

According to statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act, West Lancashire currently has 1,833 vacant residential properties which are not taken into consideration in the formulation of the plan.

The council has stated that this number is part of the natural “churn” within the housing market.

In his interim views on the plan, inspector Roger Clews has recommended a housing requirement of 4,858 dwellings for the period 2012-2027. However, he did not include current vacant properties in the calculation of this figure and it would be entirely made up of new properties, some of which have brought a great deal of controversy as it would mean building on Green Belt land.

A statement from the council said: “Vacant properties cannot be taken into account in calculating the requirement for new housing in an area – vacant properties are a normal part of the housing market and help to maintain the ‘churn’ within the market which helps the property market function.

“Within West Lancs, the level of vacant properties is below the national average and within the expected normal range of vacant properties that is necessary for the housing market to function.”

However, David Ireland, of Homes from Empty Homes, says that councils should consider some empty properties as part of their plans.

He said: “If an empty home is turned back into a home, it is known as a ‘windfall’ – which means a home that helps to meet the targets but can not be planned for.

“Councils should aim for a mixture of new homes and bringing vacant homes back in to use, which is often not reflected in Local Plans because of archaic rules.”

However, these rules were made clear during the inspector’s consultation on the Local Plan.

Colin Atkinson, who has been working with the Aughton residents group to prevent Green Belt land at Parr’s Lane being earmarked for development, said: “It is difficult because West Lancashire does cover quite a big area and it was made clear in the consultation process that vacant residential homes were not taken into account when looking at hthe number of homes needed in the borough.”

Labour group leader and councillor for the Burscough East ward, Roger Bell, believes that the number of vacant homes is usual for the local housing market, but encourages people to engage in the consultation.

Cllr Bell said: “The interim report from the Planning Inspector raises a number of issues.

“He is asking that land for about 200 more houses is allocated in the Plan.

“A report is going to the cabinet next week that recommends sites in Halsall bordering on Southport to provide this, and that a six-week consultation will start soon.

“Once again, the Tory administration is making a mockery of the ‘consultation’ by trying to determine the outcome first.

“By putting their own party interests before those of the people of West Lancashire, it will limit the consultation, taking away any element of choice and restricting the questions to simply saying yes or no to their own preferences.

“So we encourage everyone to make their views known during the consultation.”

From: customerserviceresponse-donotreply@uuplc.co.uk
To: dannyrob@talktalk.net
Sent: Fri, 23 Nov 2012 16:05
Subject: Your response from United Utilities ***Please do not reply to
this email***

Dear Mr Roberts

Our ref: CAS12-0022-9053

Further to my email of 16 November 2012, I have received confirmation
from our Network Manager for you area that the camera survey work has
been completed. We were able to carry out the final length of survey
along with a high powered jetting exercise. The results of this
confirmed that there are no defects or blockages present within our
sewer network.

This also confirms that the flooding you and neighbouring properties
experienced was caused by hydraulic inadequacy were our sewer was
unable to cope with the amount of rainfall and flows for the nearby
brook. I am sorry for the inconvenience this flooding has caused you, I
would ask that you continue to report any incidents of flooding to us
by calling 0845 746 2200 so we can investigate every incident.

If you would like any information about this reply, please call me on
the number provided below. Our office is open Monday to Friday from
9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Yours sincerely

Katie Lowery
Case Owner
Customer Relations Department
17th October 2012
Consideration was given to the report of the Borough Planner as contained on pages397 to 418 of the Book of Reports, the purpose of which was to advise Council on the proposed new Local Plan for the Borough and sought approval to submit the Local Plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and LocalGovernment for
A Motion to approve the recommendation at 2.1 of the report, was moved and seconded.
At the request of a member before the vote was taken, the voting on the Motion was recorded as follows:

FOR: Councillors Ashcroft, Mrs Atherley, Bailey, Baldock, Baybutt, Mrs Blake,
Blane, Cheetham, Cropper, Mrs C Evans, Mrs R Evans,Forshaw, Fowler,
Grant, Greenall, Griffiths, Mrs Hopley, Mrs Houlgrave, G Jones, Kay, Mrs
Kean, Ms Melling, O’Toole, Owens, Pope, Mrs Stephenson, Sudworth,

AGAINST: Councillors Aldridge, Bell, Davis, Delaney, Fillis, Furey, Gibson,
Hennessey, G Hodson, J Hodson, L Hodson, McKay, Moran, Nolan,
Oliver, Owen, Pendleton, Pryce-Roberts, Pye, Savage, West, Wilkie and

The Motion was CARRIED.
RESOLVED: That the West Lancashire Local Plan 2012-2027 Development Plan
Document – Publication Version (Appendix 1) be approved forsubmission to the Secretary of State for
Communities and Local Government for an Examination in Public.
(Note: Councillor Dereli left the room whilst this item was under consideration.)


2012 The Strategic Options and Green Belt release paper

Technical Paper 1: Strategic Options and Green Belt Release v2 July 2012 (page 8 of 62)

iv) Development on the Southport Boundary
A scenario that effectively allows Southport to expand into West
Lancashire’s Green Belt on the Borough boundary (e.g. at Brown Edge
and Moss Road / New Cut Lane areas) was considered but parts of the
area suffers from significant flood risk and much of the area is constrained
by deep peat resources that would mean development would require
costly piling within the foundations. The land in this location is also Grade
1 agricultural land and is very open, meaning that the loss of Green Belt in
this location could be quite harmful. In addition, the Council had concerns
that locating significant development in this location would not actually
address West Lancashire’s needs or bring benefit to West Lancashire, as
any new development would essentially be considered a part of Southport
and would rely on Southport’s services and employment opportunities.

Plan "B" Page 22 of 62
One part of the Borough that was previously ruled out for the options for
preferred Green Belt release but does come into consideration for the “Plan
B” is the area of Halsall parish that is adjacent to the borough boundary with
Sefton. This area has constraints, but was primarily ruled out of consideration
for preferred Green Belt release because of its reliance on Southport and the
concern that it would not be meeting West Lancashire’s needs. Given that
the “Plan B” is being considered solely to ensure flexibility if preferred
development cannot be delivered elsewhere in the Borough, it is considered
appropriate to consider this area on the edge of Southport as a back-up plan,
if development constraints can be overcome.

Page 31 of 62, Summary of “Plan B” Site Assessments

Land to south of New CutLane, Halsall

Site found not to fulfil any purpose of theGreen Belt.
Site in several ownerships but there is evidence that those owners are working
together to promote the site.
Site is not reliant on improvements to waste water infrastructure, but there may be costs
associated with connections to utility infrastructure in Birkdale.
Highway access possible through gap between properties on New Cut Lane.


July 2012, West lancashire Council Substainable Settlement Study


6.4 Halsall


6.20 Halsall is a small rural settlement in the west of the Borough and has few services to provide

for its residents. It has a general store within Gregory garage but few specialist shops. It has a primary

school but the closest secondary schools and further education facilities have to be sought in Southport

and Ormskirk. Halsall has a community centre (village hall) and a doctors surgery.

6.21 There are playing fields at New Street, Summerwood Lane and Halsall Road.

6.22 Halsall is not located near to any rail service with Bescar Lane (6km from Halsall Church)

providing a limited service and Ainsdale/Hillside Stations (7km) on the Southport-Liverpool line. Two

bus routes runs through Halsall linking to Southport and Bootle and circulating between Ormskirk,

Aughton, Downholland and Halsall. Various services operate to local schools.

6.23 67% of Halsall are economically active and on average travel 15 kilometres to work. Travelling

by car is the most popular method, 5% travel by bike and 5% by bus and by foot. 2.3% are


6.24 The western parts of Halsall Parish (New Cut Lane and Segars Lane) are considered separately

later in this report.

Halsall has a very limited range of shops and services, very little employment opportunities and

poor accessibility by public transport. As a result, it has limited sustainability, serving only the

rural community with limited services.

New Cut Lane

6.52 New Cut Lane is within 1km of a primary school, bus routes, a public house and a small

number of shops. It is also within 1km of a GP, a hospital, a health centre, and post offices as well

as a secondary and 6th form school.

Segars Lane

6.53 Segars Lane is within 1km of Ainsdale 'village', providing a variety of shops and other services,

Ainsdale station, a filling station and bus routes. Residents can also access a primary school, GP,

health centre, railway station and post offices within 1km distance through settlements in Sefton.

6.54 The 'settlements' of Segars Lane and New Cut Lane, despite consisting only of small 'ribbons'

of housing and lacking any services, are reasonably close to facilities within the neighbouring Borough

of Sefton.

2012, West Lancs Council Sustainable Settlement Study

Land to the south of New Cut Lane, Halsall
Site Description
Site lies on the Borough boundary with Sefton, to the south of residential properties on New Cut Lane. To the west of the site is a brook and residential properties but to the east and south of the site is open agricultural land. The site lies on the edge of Birkdale and is approximately 1.5 miles from Birkdale local centre and its facilities.
Site Size
2.4 ha
Total realistic developable area
2.4 ha
Potential Housing Capacity
70 dwellings