WARRINGTON Borough Council has been accused of not following correct planning procedures over the controversial decision to demolish historic Cotebrook House at Lymm and build six detached houses on the site.
More than 70 years after the former country house was converted to a care home, the borough council’s development management committee voted unanimously there was no alternative but demolition and re-development.
But local resident Sue Thomason, who mounted a campaign opposing demolition of the property has lodged an objection to the planning decision made by the Council.
She says she has evidence that the borough council did not follow proper procedures throughout the decision making process.
In a written complaint she claims: “Regulations and conventions about making decisions were not properly followed and at least two councillors voting on this planning permission did not declare conflicts of interest.
“Also, the Council has pushed this decision through, despite many local objections and ignored all of the Government guidelines in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).”
She claims the Council has also broken promises made to residents in the The Local Plan Core Strategy adopted by Warrington Borough Council in 2014 where Cotebrook House was listed as a heritage asset.
She has called on the council to halt the demolition of the building and to investigate the matter thoroughly.
The application to build six, six-bedroom houses on the wooded site in Oughtrington Lane triggered a protest petition from people who wanted to see the locally-listed building saved.
Objectors said the house should be converted rather than demolished because of its historic interest and argued that the scheme was contrary to the local plan strategy.
They claimed the new houses would tower over existing neighbouring properties and would be out of keeping with the area. There would also be a loss of light and of privacy and the safety of pupils at the adjoining Lymm High School should be taken into account.
However, two neighbours supported the scheme and there were no objections from Lymm Parish Council.
Committee members decided the scheme represented a planning gain as the new development would enable the narrow footpath in Oughtrington Lane to be widened.
Councillors were told that a recent application for the property to become a statutory listed building was rejected because of its condition and because very little remained of the original house.
They agreed to ask the developers if they would keep the name “Cotebrook” in the development.
Warrington Borough Council is looking into the complaint before issuing a response.