Update on plans for Hotel and Country Club off Ripon Hall Ave

The time for objections and comments regarding the planning application for a Hotel and Country Club on land at Ripon Hall Avenue, Ramsbottom, has now come to an end.

We are delighted that over 650 comments have been lodged and it appears that the planning application will be considered by Bury Council’s planning committee on 22 January 2019, unless it is rejected beforehand by planning officers.

The Greater Manchester Ecology Unit have now commented on the planning application.  Their comments are as follows:

“Thank you for consulting the GMEU.

Summary

The main body of the site consists of moderate to high value habitats and there will also be potential negative impacts on a grade A SBI, ancient woodland, wildlife corridor and River Valley as defined under the UDP.  Further information is required to demonstrate that these negative impacts can be mitigated or compensated for.  Other ecological issues include nesting birds, invasive species and mammals. 

Protected Species

There is no evidence of direct impacts on any protected species, though the site is potentially utilised as foraging habitat for bats and species such as badger, with sensitive lighting recommended if permission is granted.  I have no reason to doubt the findings of the report and agree that sensitive light should occur to prevent illumination of Broad Hey Wood.  I recommend a condition along the following lines is applied to any permission:

Prior to development a lighting design strategy shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA.  The strategy shall: 
• show how and where street lighting will be installed  and through appropriate lighting contour plans  demonstrated clearly that any impacts on Broadhey Wood are negligible; • Specify frequency and duration of use. 
All external lighting shall be installed in accordance with agreed specifications and locations set out in the strategy. 

Proximity to Broad Hey Wood SBI

The development area appears to overlap with SBI, a grade A site and the proposed site layout includes no buffering along the eastern boundary and parts of the southern and western boundary.  Parts of Broad Hey Wood are ancient including the land immediately to the south and west.  I.e. of National Importance with a presumption against development that would impact on it.    The site is also designated as a wildlife corridor and as river valley, with the development lying completely within the latter.  The GMEU would object to any direct impact to the SBI or ancient woodland.   Whether this is occurring is currently difficult to determine.  I would request that the developer provide a site layout map that overlays the SBI, ancient woodland and wildlife corridor boundaries prior to determination. 

We are also object to the current proposed layout (dependent on the map requested above) as no buffer appears to be being provided for parts of the site.  Development is right up to the top of the slope to the south with car parking to the edge of the woodland in the east.  The Natural buffer noted on the proposed site layout is already part of the SBI.  Any buffering should be between the SBI and the development.   

Nesting Birds

If approved the development would result in the loss of significant areas of bird nesting habitat.  All British birds nests and eggs (with certain limited exceptions) are protected by Section 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, as amended. I would recommend a condition along the following lines be applied to any permission. 

No works to trees or shrubs shall occur between the 1st March and 31st August in any year unless a detailed bird nest survey by a suitably experienced ecologist has been carried out immediately prior to clearance and written confirmation provided that no active bird nests are present which has been agreed in writing by the LPA. 

Invasive Species

Two species listed under schedule 9 part 2 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) were recorded on the site.  Monbretia and Japanese knotweed.  It is an offence to introduce or cause to grow wild any plant listed under this schedule, if permission is granted, I would recommend a condition along the following lines is applied. 

Prior to any earthworks a method statement detailing eradication and/or control and/or avoidance measures for Japanese knotweed and monbretia should be supplied to and agreed in writing to the LPA.  The agreed method statement shall be adhered to and implemented in full unless otherwise agreed in writing by the LPA. 

Mammals and Amphibians

Whilst there is no indication that any protected species utilise the site, there is a risk of other priority species such as hedgehog and common toad being present.   The consultants recommend standard reasonable avoidance measures, which I support and could be conditioned if permission was granted. 

Contributing to and Enhancing the Natural Environment

Section 170 of the NPPF 2018 states that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment.  The proposed development will result in the loss of around 0.7ha of moderate to high value habitats including marshy grassland, scrub and semi-natural broadleaved woodland.   Limited mitigation is proposed in the form of a small area of unspecified tree planting.  No mitigation is proposed for loss of marshy grassland or bird nesting habitats.  As the marshy grassland and woodland would be regarded as high value habitats any mitigation would need to be of an equivalent value.   

The GMEU objects to the current proposal as there is no indication that adequate mitigation is or could be provided on site. 

We would expect a Landscape and Ecological Management plan to be produced that demonstrated no nett loss and a commitment to management of any mitigation for a 5-10 year period or a section 106 agreement to provide off-site compensation. 

D Dutton, Ecologist, GM Ecology Unit

(A copy can be found here … GMEU Comments Ripon Hall Ave )

Plans to ease traffic congestion on Ramsbottom Lane

Cllr Ian Schofield on Ramsbottom Lane

After consulting with Bury Highways department, Ramsbottom Councillors, Rob Hodkinson and Ian Schofield are pleased to confirm that a proposal to alleviate the traffic flow problems caused by vehicles parking along Ramsbottom Lane will soon be introduced.

Cllr Rob Hodkinson commented “We have received several complaints about the number of vehicles that are parking along both sides of Ramsbottom Lane in the town centre. Whilst there are no parking restrictions on either side ,the road narrows at one end and the road is not wide enough to allow free flowing two way traffic, particularly when large vehicles or buses are trying to get through.”

“I think that the problem has been exacerbated by the new development on Factory Street as it seems that construction workers are parking along Ramsbottom Lane. This development is unlikely to be completed until late summer 2019.”

“Ramsbottom Lane is also a popular place to park for commuters who use the X41 bus into Manchester.”

Councillor Ian Schofield added “We have also received several complaints from elderly and disabled residents who live in Ashton Lodge that the bus they travel on from Bury do not turn right at the top of Bridge Street due to the congestion caused by this level of parking on Ramsbottom Lane. These residents are having to walk the best part of a mile to Ashton Lodge.”

A proposal to alleviate the problem was put before Bury Council’s Traffic Management Unit and the introduction of parking restrictions was approved.

Head of Highway Engineering, David Giblin confirmed to us that “Officers will now seek to progress a scheme to introduce a no loading at any time restriction (double yellow lines with double tabs). This will also prevent blue badge holder from parking as it only takes one vehicle to cause issues when buses and HGVs need to pass. Given that a traffic regulation order is required as well as advertising, I expect that it will be around 6 months before the restrictions are put in place.”

If you do have any queries or comments, then please do let us know:

Consultation on ‘Bury Local Plan’

Autumn Intouch 8

Bury Council are currently in the process of preparing a new ‘Local Plan’ that will guide future development in the Borough, including here in Ramsbottom.

What is the Bury Local Plan?

The Bury Local Plan will be used as the basis for determining future planning applications for the next 20 years or so. It is one of the most important documents to be produced by the Council.

Bury’s Local Plan will contain a range of local planning policies and will identify local sites where development should be built as well as areas where development should be restricted or controlled.

It will also cover flooding issues, housing, Green Belt, employment and the town centre.

Details of the Bury Local Plan can be seen at: bury.gov.uk/localplan

Bury Council now want your views.  Emails with your comments should be sent to planning.policy@bury.gov.uk

Alternatively, responses can be returned by post to the following address:

Development Plans Unit, Strategic Planning and Economic Development, Department for Resources and Regulation, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury, BL9 0EJ.

Bury Council are seeking your views until Friday 30 November 2018.

Latest Autumn ‘In Touch’ Newsletter

No doubt you will have seen us out and about around Ramsbottom, Holcombe and Shuttleworth over the last week, delivering our latest Autumn In Touch newsletter, and speaking to as many residents as we could about issues here in our town and villages.

If you have not seen a copy, then here is a link to the latest edition: Ramsbottom Autumn Intouch 2018

Remembrance Sunday – #ArmisticeDay100

It was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I so we were expecting a higher than average turnout for the Remembrance Sunday Parade and a Service at St Paul’s Church but we were overwhelmed to see several hundred Ramsbottom residents lining the streets of our town.

As your local Councillors, we laid a wreath on your behalf at the War Memorial outside St Paul’s to pay our respects to those Ramsbottom, Holcombe and Shuttleworth men and women who have laid down their lives in the service of our country.

Many of the town’s voluntary groups, cadets and emergency services were present.

Thanks must always go to the Ramsbottom Branch of the Royal British Legion and its volunteers for organising this important service of remembrance for those who have fought, and fallen, in conflict.

Lest We Forget.

Planning Application for Hotel and Country Club is re-submitted

A planning application for permission to build a 23 bedroom Hotel & Country Club on land off Ripon Hall Avenue, Ramsbottom, has been re submitted by the land owner, after previously being withdrawn last year, just days before planning officers were expected to refuse permission.

Ripon Hall 3

We understand that the planning officers had some major concerns about that application and were set to reject it based on a number of factors—the closeness of the adjacent woodland, trees under threat covered by Tree  Preservation Orders, traffic and noise concerns.

The planning officers cannot stop another application, and the applicant can re-submit it at no extra cost, but we understand that it would need to have been substantially different in terms of building, location etc, as these are major hurdles to get over.

Cllr Rob Hodkinson commented “As your local Councillor I have consistently opposed development on our green field sites such as here on Ripon Hall Avenue on the Whittingham Drive estate.

Ramsbottom’s green spaces need to be protected from developers and I will strongly oppose this planning application.”

The previously withdrawn application attracted over 500 objections after a successful campaign by local Conservative Councillors.

Unfortunately, these will no longer be taken into account for this re-submission.

Cllr Rob Hodkinson added “I therefore urge residents to make their views known to the Planning Department at Bury Council as soon as possible.”

The deadline for objections is 22nd November 2018 although objections will still be considered after this date.

The link to this application is: https://planning.bury.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_BURY_DCAPR_53817

Alternatively, you can email the planning Department Case Officer Helen Longworth: development.control@bury.gov.uk

You can also write to: Bury Council, Planning Control, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury BL9 0EJ

Please quote reference: 63344

Planning application for an electricity generation plant at Fletcher Bank Quarry

Fletcher Bank Quarry, Shuttleworth

UK Power Reserve Ltd have lodged a Planning application for a gas-fired standby electricity generation plant on land at Fletcher Bank Quarry in Shuttleworth.

This follows on from the refused planning application for an Anaerobic Digestion Food Waste Plant on the site which local residents group Ramsbottom Against the Waste Site (RAWS) and your local Councillors successfully fought against.

The lifetime of the proposed Electricity Generation Plant is for a maximum period of 25 years.   The site is located within the Green Belt and is approximately 110m from the nearest residential home on Green Acre Close and can be seen here:

62903 Plan 3

62903 Plan 2

The purpose of the Electricity Generation Plant will be to contribute electricity to the National Grid.  There will also be a battery container which will be charged by the gas generators and will feed electricity, via a private wire, to the cement manufacturing plant.

The Proposed Development will be powered by mains natural gas.

On site there will either be 14 x 1.4MW gas generators, or 10 x 2.0MW generators.

Each proposed generator will be housed within an individual metal container approximately 12.2m x 3.0m x 2.6m and will be finished in a matt fern green. Each container will include a bank of radiators located on the roof, approximately 3.0m high, for cooling the generators together with an exhaust stack of 8.0m from ground level to allow for the dispersion of exhaust gases.

It is proposed to install two storage tanks; one for waste oil and one for fresh oil. Both directly piped into the engine containers with a storage capacity of 5,000 litres. The tanks will measure approximately 2.7m x 1.8m x 1.5m.

In addition there will be three other buildings including a control room and workshop.

We are urging residents to make their views known to the Planning Department at Bury Council as soon as possible as we are very concerned about the rows of potentially noisy and polluting generators that could operate for up to 25 years within the Green Belt and metres from the nearest homes on Green Acre Close, Whalley Road and nearby Peel Brow Primary School.

We have been liaising with the Chairman of Ramsbottom Against the Waste Site (RAWS), Dr Peter Jackson and his colleagues regarding the plans.

A sample objection letter can be found here:

Power Station Objection Letter Bury Planning

The deadline for objections is 13th July 2018.

The link can be found on the Bury Council website here: https://planning.bury.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage

Alternatively, you can email the Planning Department Case Officer at:   planning.development@bury.gov.uk

You can also write to:  Bury Council, Planning Control, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury, BL9 0EJ.

Please quote reference: 62903

If you do have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or complete the contact form below.  You can also keep updated by regularly visiting our website: