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Significant inaccuracies in plan


THERE were “significant inaccuracies” in plans submitted to the public inquiry into proposals to convert Warrington’s historic Bewsey Old Hall into apartments.
This is the view of planning officer Michael Davies, in a report to be considered by the borough council’s development control committee next week.
As a result, developer Urban Splash has submitted amended plans – and the inspector hearing the appeal considers them to be “relatively minor.”
The inquiry was halted on May 14 after the inaccuracies came to light and is to be resumed on September 30.
Warrington Borough Council looks likely to continue to oppose the development, represented by officers, counsel and local councillor Bernard Long.
Urban renewal specialists Urban Splash want to convert the hall, which dates from the 13th century, into apartments and build a block of 48 additional apartments in the grounds.
Hundreds of local residents oppose the scheme and signatures are still being collected for protest petitions.
Objectors argue that the hall should be retained in its present form, but available for community use because of its special place in the cultural identity of Warrington
They also believe the proposals will lead to a loss of green space, increased traffic congestion and a disregard for the heritage site.
Mr Davies’ report to committee says Urban Splash have now submitted amended plans, following a re-survey of the site to ensure that site boundaries are accurately shown.
He states: “The re-survey shows that there were significant inaccuracies in the submitted plans. As a result of the survey the appellant has submitted an amended scheme and asked for the appeal to be determined on the basis of the amended plans.”
The amendments involve some realignment of the apartment buildings and to a reduction in width – leading to increased steepness – of a landscaped bund between a public footpath and the buildings.
“The inspector considers that these are relatively minor changes which do not materially alter the nature of the proposals. He accepts the amended plans in substitution of these originally submitted and will determine the appeal on the basis of the amended scheme.”
Bewsey Old Hall was originally built by William Fitz Almeric le Boteler and was home to the Lords of Warrington from the 13th Century. It was purchased by the former Warrington New Town Development Corporation in the late 60s or early 70s when some restoration work was carried out.
In 1997 a campaign was launched to turn it into a tourist attraction- but came to nothing.
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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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