Controversial plans to build 14 new homes on the site of Ashton Court in West Kirby were thrown out by Wirral council’s planning committee tonight.
The scheme involved the demolition of the existing derelict former sheltered flats for the elderly on the site. Thirteen of the proposed houses that were to replace them would have been three storeys high, and squeezing so many homes onto the site was dubbed “over-development”.
Planning officers had recommended that the scheme, for Magenta Living and Starfish Commercial Ltd, should be accepted, but councillors unanimously voted to reject it after hearing the concerns of West Kirby residents.
The committee had visited the site on Tuesday, and tonight heard representations from two local residents who had raised petitions opposing the plan.
Alan Rundle, who lives in Banks Road, West Kirby just opposite the site, had collected 515 signatures opposing the plan. “The people who signed this petition want the existing retirement flats refurbished and modernised,” he said.
“This planning application is an excellent example of poor design, not good design.”
Hoylake and Meols councillor Gerry Ellis said: “It’s very desirable to have more housing of this type in the borough. But I believe this is the wrong building on the wrong site.
“It is out of scale and grossly too large for the site.” He said four of the houses had balconies which would spoil the privacy of neighbours, and only having one parking space for each house would add to the parking problems in a very busy part of the town.
Councillors said plans to implement a two hour parking restriction for cars in Banks Road would only add to the pressure on parking in Ashton Drive.
West Kirby and Thurstaston councillor David Elderton proposed the rejection of the plan. “This is quite clearly an overdevelopment of the site. It is too high, it is too large, and it is unneighbourly in terms of the impact it will have on houses nearby.”
Afterwards, Mr Rundle said: “The developers will come back, probably with something equally unpalatable. But I am thrilled with tonight’s outcome and I would like to thank the councillors for their decision.”