A “dilapidated” block of garages is set to be demolished to make way for 25 new flats on the outskirts of Chorley town centre.
The development will be built behind existing properties on Market Street on land which is also currently used as a car park.
READ MORE >>> This is what is planned for one of Chorley's former mills
The two-storey building will include a specially-sloping “mansard roof” which means that the flats can be spread across three floors.
Chorley Council’s planning committee granted permission for the scheme in spite of the fact that it does not meet the property separation distances required for developments in the borough. The new building will be less than 9m away from some of the housing located opposite on Anderton Street – and, according to the council’s own guidelines, there should be a minimum of 21m between the windows of rooms which act as the main living areas in a property.
Planning officer Iain Crossland told members that the proposed layout would still be acceptable because it “reflects the urban context of the historic…relationships [between] properties in the area”.
Papers presented to the meeting describe the development as “rejuvenating an underused parcel of land” and welcome the introduction of an active street frontage along part of the road.
But members heard that “critical viability issues” had led to the applicant – 108 Ventures Limited – declining to make any contributions to infrastructure which the council may have sought as part of the planning process. The team which assesses the ability of developers to make such contributions – including a general requirement for 30 percent of any development to be made up of affordable housing – supported the applicant’s claim that the profit margins on the scheme are so tight as to make it unaffordable should those commitments be insisted upon.
Meanwhile, just six parking spaces will be provided as part of the development, as well as a bicycle store.
Committee member Cllr Alistair Morwood asked why the authority had been “so lenient” in not demanding more parking.
“Whey even bother with the six?” he quipped – only to be told that, originally, no spaces had been proposed at all.
“Lancashire County Council (the highways authority) didn’t actually consider that to be unacceptable in the town centre, as you wouldn’t necessarily require parking for a development in such close proximity to all the amenities you’d need to access,” Iain Crossland said.
“But they did want to see at least some spaces for making deliveries or for moving in and out of the properties,” he added.