People have raised concerns around flooding and road safety over a planned development for over 280 homes in Formby, which could pass a major hurdle this week.
Outline permission for the site - north of Brackenway in Formby - was granted permission in 2021 despite over 300 objections lodged by local residents.
The plans were initially approved in 2019 after an application was submitted by Taylor Wimpey amid significant controversy. At a council meeting which took place regarding the plans, so many people turned up the council had to move the meeting to a larger venue.
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When councillors voted to approve the plans, a number of residents later stormed out of the meeting, furious with the decision to allow the development to go ahead.
However, delays by the developer in signing a section 106 agreement - about the financial contribution to local infrastructure - meant that the approval was not confirmed before Formby's neighbourhood plan came into effect.
This brought the proposals back to the planning committee in 2021, with local parish councillors claiming that flood risks at the site had been underestimated - something later acknowledged by planning officers.
The plans were nevertheless approved, with a flood mitigation strategy put forward by Taylor Wimpey deemed to be acceptable.
Now, several years after the initial application had been put forward, the plans will return to the council's planning committee once again this Wednesday, February 8 - as the developers seek approval for the details of the development.
With a mix of homes ranging from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses, the development would include 286 homes and involve creating access onto the Formby by-pass and a new pathway from Paradise Lane.
A number of objections have been put forward to the proposals from Formby Parish Council and local residents with many of the concerns focusing on flood risks at the site, which is bounded by two "designated major rivers".
The objection from the parish council states that "insufficient information on several factors relating to fluvial flood risk" has been provided, included in relation to a flood risk management plan, and how the risk to aquatic animals will be managed.
Other objections concern highways safety - with several residents speaking of their concerns about a "potentially dangerous" site entrance, the impact on the existing road infrastructure around the Formby by-pass and the lack of connectivity between the site and the rest of Formby.
Residents also expressed concerns about disturbances to wildlife and loss of biodiversity, the "stress" of the development on existing infrastructure, including doctors surgeries and schools, and the living conditions of future residents and those living nearby.
Planning officers stated that the impact of the development, which includes a mix of detached, semi-detached and mews-style two-storey buildings will involve raising some of the land at the site, but that this would not impact on the "wider character of the area or the prevailing landscape."
Officers said the units would have enough outdoor space, following an amendment provided by the developer and more than the required amount of public open space within the development.
Responding to objections raised about living conditions, officers said the development "mostly complies" with policy in terms of the inside living space for future residents, with environmental health officers recommending a condition to ensure noise levels throughout the site are kept to a minimum.
The report that the development "would not cause demonstrable harm" to the living conditions of existing residents.
In terms of highway issues, the report notes that measures including 20mph zones within the site would be put into place and appropriate provisions had already been provided in the outline permission to address some of the concerns raised by residents.
Officers said that steps were already in place to manage flood risks at the site, with the report noting expert opinion that neighbouring properties would seek a "significant reduction in flood risk" by the development, adding that measures proposed would "ensure that the new dwellings would not be at risk of flooding and that there would be no increase in flooding elsewhere caused by the development."
Recommending approval of the plans, they will now go to councillors to decide at a meeting of Sefton Council's planning committee set to take place at Bootle Town Hall from 6..30pm on Wednesday, February 8.
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