Amusement hire firms wins plan battle

Martland Mill Garage
Martland Mill Garage

A WIGAN bouncy castle hire business is jumping for joy after winning a long-running planning fight.

Neighbours claimed that living next to Martland Mill’s UK FUN firm was anything but because of disturbance by vehicles transporting the attraction past their homes and in and out of the former heavy haulage yard base.

But owner Dave Bickerton told the development committee this week that eight years of continually renewed ‘temporary’ rather than ‘full’ approval from councillors for his growing business had left him forced to live in a caravan on site because it was too risky to act on the planning permission he has to turn former haulage company offices there into a permanent home.

And planning councillors pointed out that if they refused permission, the former Hill Bros heavy haulage yard could be immediately revived which would then see potentially much noisier and heavier juggernauits rolling past homes to get to the ex-Martland Mill Garage yard.

But granting planning permission would “regularise” the operation and peg the business into legally recognised operating hours.

Because the former lorry company had been established there before the need for town hall approval, they had been free to trundle in and out at all hours of the day and night, the committee was reminded.

Pemberton Coun Jeanette Prescott said: “If we sit back and refuse it the residents must remember that it could then revert to a haulage yard with wagons coming in and out at all hours, so this really is the lesser of two evils.”

Witness for the objectors neighbour Joe Dutton claimed that residents had suffered so many problems with UK FUN’s vehicle movements disturbing them that many had given up complaining altogether.

He also claimed that the council’s failure to prevent residential occupation of a caravan on the site could set a precedent that could be used by travellers if they return to land they purchased and used without planning permission only yards away on the banks of the River Douglas.

Councillors unanimously agreed to approve the application for UK FUN to retain use of buildings .