Questions are invited from Elected Members about the work of the Cabinet. 15 minutes will be set aside for Member Question Time, if required.
Notice of any Member question must be given to the Monitoring Officer by 9.30am on Friday, 21 May 2021.
The following question was submitted in advance of the meeting by Councillor Carol Birchmore:
I recently visited the site of the proposed East Lancs Paper Mill development with some concerned residents. Whilst I am obviously in favour of building on brownfield land I do have some concerns in relation to this particular site. Being perhaps the only person in this room that has spent 5 years living with a building site directly behind my house there are a number of issues that I believe should be considered. In my personal experience the lack of Council/developer communication with residents makes the experience something of a nightmare. Will the Council agree to commit to a full, open and honest consultation with residents over any plans and commit to addressing residents’ concerns in a timely fashion? Also, a number of residents have expressed concerns in relation to the increased traffic volume caused by the proposals. Can I remind you that the proposals are for 400 houses so assuming 2 cars per household that would result in an additional 800 cars using roads which are in the main minor roads with an already significantly heavy traffic loading. Will the Council commit to carrying out full and detailed traffic surveys and fully consider ways of designing access on and off the site to make sure that the current road network is not overloaded which would result in increased journey times for existing residents along with increased traffic pollution level exposure which is likely to impact on the health of existing residents? Finally, will the Council commit to ensuring that independent wildlife surveys (not ones paid for by developers) are carried out on the site to make sure that a full understanding of the potential impact on wildlife species is determined and that measures are put in place to mitigate any impact on wildlife including in relation to the proposed open public spaces?
Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth, responded:
The council has a brownfield first approach to development and East Lancashire Paper Mill is the largest housing site in the district. Development on brownfield sites must have a full construction management plan approved to mitigate any impact on surrounding residents. This will be approved by the planning authority and will include (but not limited to) approved plans identifying construction access to the site, phasing of delivery, noise / dust / vibration mitigation whilst works are ongoing. We would also expect Considerate Constructors best practice to be followed regarding local resident communications.
A planning application would be required to bring forward development of the site and would include a full public consultation. It is anticipated that the selected developer would conduct this consultation in 2022. The site also sits within the Radcliffe Strategic Regeneration Framework programme which is subject to a separate community and stakeholder engagement plan.
In 2018 the site received outline planning consent including approved means of access onto the surrounding highway network. Additional traffic, transport assessments and habitat surveys may be required as part of the requirements of a future planning application.