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Chester’s Planning Disgraces

clip_image002Chester Liberal Democrats are dismayed at some of the recent decision making by the Planning Committee that local councillors sit on, vote and make decisions on your behalf.

Further to the recent reports that the proposed new ‘Super Surgery’ NHS centre on Delamere Street has now received planning permission, has anyone else considered what appears to be yet another poor quality design of building to blight our fair ‘heritage’ city?

The developers, Watkin Jones must be delighted that they have achieved a hat trick of ugly buildings all within a few hundred metres of one another; the ‘Super Surgery’, the Fountains Travelodge, and the ‘Ladders’ apartments, next to the Ship Inn.

One can only assume a member of their staff won a bet that he/she could get not one; not two but three cheap and nasty designs along major routes into the city.

Mark A Williams, Chester Liberal Democrat campaigner in Hoole & Newton says,

“Liverpool has three magnificent buildings on its waterfront known everywhere as the "Three Graces". Sadly Chester will soon be known for the ‘Three Disgraces’”.

Mark has written to the local papers in hoping that it will highlight the issue further.

3 Comments on “Chester’s Planning Disgraces

  • Nic Siddle
    June 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Can’t but agree with your assessment of the quality of these buildings. The Health Centre appeared to get through only because Councillors wanted the ‘hole in the ground’ filled – they would have accepted anything. As it is proposed, it will call massive traffic congestion in the area and will do nothing to improve the services for patients.

    And just to prove that I am not ‘anti’ every new development, I do approve of the HQ building, and the older building in the middle of City Road roundabout which is sympathetic to and compliments the old Parker’s Buildings in Foregate St. The properties being constructed in the Old Port area opposite Taylor’s Boatyard are also in keeping with their surroundings. I also approve of the (at the time said to be ‘impossible’) preservation of the frontage of the old Electric Building.

    But, I have to ask, what lunatic(s) approved the design of the Holiday Inn Express near the racecourse?

    Reply
  • mark a williams
    June 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Nic – I suggest you make a Freedom of Information request to the Council to find out which planning officers approved The race course holiday inn and which councillors sat on the planning committee that approved it.
    I think I will do the same for the Fountains Travel Lodge!

    Reply
    • Nic Siddle
      June 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Mark – given that the monstrosity has already been up for a number of years (it would even have been approved in pre-CWAC days), I am not sure what an FOI request would achieve. Also, at the planning meeting I attended for the Health Centre, the vote was taken on a show of hands and no record of who voted which way appears in the minutes. From what I saw (I may be wrong on this), that information is only recorded if a Councillor asks for a named vote.

      I have to say that my current view of CWAC’s approach to FOI requests is that they try to hide as much as possible and really do not see ‘open’ communication to be within their remit. Getting info from them is like pulling hens’ teeth. If you want to see what I mean, have a look at:-
      http://tinyurl.com/FOI-NJS1
      http://tinyurl.com/FOI-NJS2
      http://tinyurl.com/FOI-NJS3
      http://tinyurl.com/FOI-NJS4
      On none of these was I given a straightforward answer ‘first time’, if at all. I am so hacked off with their contemptuous final response on the second one that I have now referred it to the Information Commissioner’s Office. I also believe that there has been a fundamental abuse of process in the third one – I shall probably raise it as a formal complaint to the Council, but given that these complaints are dealt with by the same team as the FOI requests, I expect that they will again try to obfuscate.

      I would still like to know which Councillors approved the Fountains travel Lodge should you ever find out!

      Nic

      Nic

      Reply
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