Wigan children's home plan refused after parking concerns
Plans to turn a six-bedroom house into a children’s home have been refused by Wigan council after planners found problems with parking at the property.
The application to use a two-storey detached property in Billinge Road as a children’s home was refused planning permission by committee this week.
The home would be used to care for children between the ages of 10 and 17 years old, with capacity to accommodate three children at any one time.
It would be staffed by eight full-time and four part-time employees – but only two members of staff and one manager would be on site at the same time.
Planners said they were not satisfied with the parking arrangements behind the property proposed by the applicant Brinscall Care, which claimed that four vehicles could be accommodated within the private rear garden.
They concluded that the plans provided did not adequately demonstrate four vehicle parking spaces together with the necessary manoeuvring space.
Planning officer Gareth Jones told the committee that to meet the council’s parking policies, the whole of the back garden would have to be tarmacked.
He said: “In my opinion, to get parking to an adequate standard would result in the whole of the rear to be hardstanding in order to accommodate the parking.
“But to do that, to be able to get the manoeuvre in and out, you’re potentially looking at taking down the whole of the rear boundary treatment which would then open up the rear garden.
“It would be open to an alleyway, which isn’t an ideal scenario either.
“We haven’t received adequate information to demonstrate that that would be possible so we’ve gone and made that assessment ourselves and it’s resulted in the three refusal reasons we have.”
A total of 66 representations were made to the council in objection to the plans, but a further 26 representations received were in support of them.
Winstanley councillor Clive Morgan, who represents the ward in which the property is located, supported the officers’ recommendation of refusal.
In a written statement to the planning committee, he offered more reasons to refuse the application, including anti-social behaviour in the surrounding area.
He said: “Children need to play therefore children will play in the surrounding areas. There lies another reason for refusal.
“Over many years the woods and the nearby Pemberton Colliery has been subject of some of the worst anti-social behaviour in Wigan.
“This includes theft, criminal damage, drug and alcohol problems. This is continuous, especially at weekends.
“Therefore, in addition to the reasons stated in the officers’ report and taking into consideration the above points, we do not feel this would be a suitable place to have a development of a children’s home.”
The planning committee voted unanimously to refuse the application on Tuesday. The applicant has six months to appeal the decision.