Housing plans for former restaurant provide food for thought

THE site of a former pub and indian restaurant on the Saddleworth and Shaw border has been earmarked for houses.But the plans to develop land at the old Bulls Head and Vamasaki restaurant on Ripponden Road have already met local opposition.

Under proposals submitted to Oldham Council (PA/344343/20) by applicant Yasir Beg of Eltonwell Property Limited, the derelict, two-storey building would be demolished and replaced by three mews properties.

An additional three dwellings would be erected with the introduction of 12 car parking spaces.

A planning statement submitted with the application says: “The site as a whole is currently in a state unbefitting the otherwise picturesque character of this rural, residential area.

“The applicant’s intention to redevelop the site will vastly improve the appearance of the site and complement existing residential development in the immediate area.

“The residential properties closest to the site use the same entrance to access the rear of their properties, in order to park on the ‘vacant’ land behind.

“It is the intention of the applicant to maintain the shared entrance, along with the footpath, albeit the area to the rear of their properties will be reduced to take account of ownership boundaries.

“It is considered that there will be sufficient space to provide both functions; parking to the rear for existing property owners – which is provided under separate parcels of land, owned by those properties backing on to this area and access to the proposed fronts of the new detached dwellings which are proposed to be built behind. “

The last planning application for the site in August 2018 was for conversion of the restaurant – also known as the Blue Pearl – and change of use to a single dwelling.Three of the new properties will front Ripponden Road and three to the rear of existing residences on Grains Bar.

The report adds: “As this is proposed for residential occupation the applicant wishes to make the best use of this site in order to bring forward much needed housing, without the costs implications associated with bringing back to life a redundant, disused and dilapidated building.

“It is now considered, in order to bring about productive reuse of this site, demolition is necessary.

“This site is considered previously developed land. While it lies within the originally designated green belt, the majority of the site has been built over to a size and scale and nature that has clearly imposed itself within the green belt and affects its openness.

“As appropriate development in the green belt, it is an acceptable form of development, in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework and there is no need to consider very special circumstances.

“The detrimental impact of the existing building and surrounding hard-standing on openness of the green belt must not be underestimated.

“This site is becoming steadily more dilapidated exacerbated by severe weather conditions impacting on its integrity and making its protection and reinstatement more and more costly.”

The application, currently out for public consultation was validated on January 9. It had received eight objections on the Oldham Council planning portal prior to going to press.

And councillors are pressing for a final decision to be made by the planning committee rather than officers’ approval.

Shaw ward councillor Chris Gloster said: “These properties will be completely out of character and not in keeping with the rest of the surrounding stone-built properties.

“Traffic exiting sites A and B from between two buildings will have poor sight lines on a very busy three-way junction.

“Additional traffic from the new proposed exit would only compound existing problems.”

Cllr Gloster also says the amenity of adjacent occupiers could be compromised by the proposed development.

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