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ASHTON COURT is not 'Previously developed land' or 'Brownfield land'.

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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

At the Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (“the Council”) Planning Committee Meeting, of 18 January 2018 , concerning Planning Application APP/17/01222, I highlighted, as the proposer of a petition signed by more than 1,000 members of the public, the fact that Ashton Court, Banks Road West Kirby, had wrongly been included on the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF – published on 27 March 2012) Glossary provides a detailed definition of ‘Previously Developed Land’, also known as ‘Brownfield land’, in Annex 2 of the NPPF.
In the NPPF Glossary,under the heading ‘Brownfield land’ it refers to ‘previously developed land’, thus:
Brownfield land
See previously developed land.

The full NPPF definition of ‘Previously developed land’ is given as:
Previously developed land
Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. This excludes: land that is or was last occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill, where provision for restoration has been made through development management procedures; land in built-up areas such as residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land that was previously developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape.
(Underlining added)

Please note that, specifically excluded from the NPPF definition of Previously developed land (or Brownfield land) is:
“land in built-up areas such as residential gardens”.
The land at Ashton Court, Banks Road West Kirby includes 22 empty, neglected retirement flats which are surrounded by residential gardens.
As well as pointing out the error of including Ashton Court in the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’ at the 18 January 2018 Planning Committee Meeting, numerous emails were sent to numerous Councillors, prior to that meeting, pointing out that Ashton Court should be removed from the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’, I am unaware that this removal from the ‘Brownfield Register’ has taken place.
I noted that, at the 18 January 2018 Planning Committee Meeting, David Ball, the Council’s Assistant Director of Major Growth Projects and Housing Delivery (Economic and Housing Growth Directorate) was present.
It is clear to many members of the public that planning permission is easier to obtain for land included in the Council's 'Brownfield Register' and that the Council’s concern to promote 'Growth Projects and Housing Delivery' might well be assisted if as much land as possible were to be included on the Council's 'Brownfield Register'.
Please provide:
1. Documentation detailing discussions and actions that took place following the 18 January 2018 Planning Committee Meeting (in Committee Room 2 at Wallasey Town Hall) concerning the removal of Ashton Court from the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’.
2. Documentation detailing discussions and actions that took place following the 18 January 2018 Planning Committee Meeting (in Committee Room 2 at Wallasey Town Hall) concerning the removal of other areas of land wrongly included in the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’ as a consequence of being “land in built-up areas such as residential gardens”.
3. If the Council has, thus far, failed to remove Ashton Court from its 'Brownfield Register', please provide information explaining why it is persisting with this legal error, despite being made aware of the legal error.

Yours faithfully,

Alan Rundle

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Rundle

 

Thank you for your recent request made under the Freedom of Information
Act in which you asked as follows:

 

Please provide:

1.           Documentation detailing discussions and actions that took
place following the 18 January 2018 Planning Committee Meeting (in
Committee Room 2 at Wallasey Town Hall) concerning the removal of Ashton
Court from the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’.

2.           Documentation detailing discussions and actions that took
place following the 18 January 2018 Planning Committee Meeting (in
Committee Room 2 at Wallasey Town Hall) concerning the removal of other
areas of land wrongly included in the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’ as a
consequence of being “land in built-up areas such as residential gardens”.

3.   If the Council has, thus far, failed to remove Ashton Court from its
'Brownfield Register', please provide information explaining why it is
persisting with this legal error, despite being made aware of the legal
error.

 

 

 

 

Wirral Borough Council can confirm the following information:

 

1.           Documentation detailing discussions and actions that took
place following the 18 January 2018 Planning Committee Meeting (in
Committee Room 2 at Wallasey Town Hall) concerning the removal of Ashton
Court from the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’.

 

Response:

Wirral Council can confirm that the minutes for Planning Committee on 18
January 2018 were confirmed by Planning Committee on 15 February 2018 and
can be viewed at:
[1]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...
The Brownfield Register was subject to annual review which was reported to
Planning Committee on 15 November 2018. The minutes were confirmed at
Planning Committee on 13 December 2018 and can be viewed
at|:[2]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc....
Planning Committee did not remove Ashton Court from the Register.

 

 

2.          Documentation detailing discussions and actions that took
place following the 18 January 2018 Planning Committee Meeting (in
Committee Room 2 at Wallasey Town Hall) concerning the removal of other
areas of land wrongly included in the Council’s ‘Brownfield Register’ as a
consequence of being “land in built-up areas such as residential gardens”.

 

Response: 

The Brownfield Register was subject to annual review which was reported to
Planning Committee on 15 November 2018. The minutes were confirmed at
Planning Committee on 13 December 2018.

 

 

3.          If the Council has, thus far, failed to remove Ashton Court
from its 'Brownfield Register', please provide information explaining why
it is persisting with this legal error, despite being made aware of the
legal error.

 

Response: 

The  response to representations in relation to Ashton Court are included
in Appendix 4 (attached) which was published on the Council’s website in
December 2017,  which has since been replaced by the more up to date
information related to the 2018 Register. Ashton Court is appropriate to
include, as Ashton Court is a previous residential development.

Please find this data published on data.gov.uk at
 [3]https://data.gov.uk/dataset/e1c26d62-1ec...

 

 

 

We trust that this information is of assistance to you.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management Officer

Business Management

Treasury Building

Argyle Street

Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

[4]Tel:0151 691 8397

[5][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

 

 

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References

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1. http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...
2. http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...
3. https://data.gov.uk/dataset/e1c26d62-1ec...
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