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									REPORT OF: TO: DATE:

Planning Manager Colne and District Committee 8th February 2007

Development - Empress Mill, Hollin Hall, Trawden
Purpose of Report 1. To provide Councillors with an up-to-date position statement in terms of activities at the site. Issue 2. Empress Mill was a former textile works classified in the B2 Industrial classification of the Town and Country Use Classes Order 1987. With economic decline and the thrust to utilise brownfield sites for development, planning permission was granted for the part demolition and redevelopment of the site into houses on 10th June 2004. 3. As part of a number of conditions for the development condition 26 was placed on the consent which required that any vehicles entering and leaving the site be washed via an appropriate wheel washing facility. Subsequent decisions on applications have kept that requirement as part of the conditions and an additional Notice served. 4. Wheel washing facilities were not initially provided and after concerns raised facilities were put in place and a Breach of Condition Notice served. The Breach of Condition Notice required that wheel washing facilities be put in place and that all vehicles utilising the site should have their wheels washed in order to keep the carriageway in a clean and safe condition. 5. Although not specifically phased in terms of the planning consent granted the development of the land is in effect to be undertaken in two distinct phases. This is after the clearance of the buildings on site and removal of crushed material, this having previously been the subject of investigation by the Council. 6. A technical breach of condition will occur with any vehicle leaving the site without having their wheels appropriately washed. That is any vehicle entering the highway from any access point on the site. There will be nothing to prevent a vehicle unloading whilst stationary on the 1

highway and such a vehicle would not be required to have its wheels washed. 7. Phase 1 of the development, which comprises of the smaller cul-de-sac at the lower end of the site, is now going forward for completion. Once competed and site equipment removed then all the activities will be undertaken from the larger section of the site. The developer’s intention is to install the first section of the access and surface that to base course level before proceeding with the main activities in the site. 8. The developer has at all times been made aware of the concerns of the Council that any deleterious effect on the surface of the carriageway by deposit of materials from vehicles using the site would be unacceptable. As indicated by Officers at the January Colne Committee the carriageway is inspected on a weekly basis by Planning and Highway Officers and to-date no such adverse conditions have prevailed. However that does not mean that the developers are not in breach of the condition. 9. The following options are therefore available to the Council should it wish to pursue them. Option 1 - All vehicles leaving the site under all circumstances would be required to undergo a wheel washing process via a purpose made facility. That would be regardless of whether the carriageway was in an acceptable condition or not. The Council is in a position that whereby should it choose to, as the developers are in technical breach of the condition, a immediate action could be undertaken. Clearly in their defence should the Council choose to take the matter to the Magistrates Court would be the fact that there have not been to-date any issues with the condition of the carriageway and in that event it is highly unlikely that the Council would secure any form of conviction. Option 2 – Do nothing. The Council may take no further action on the matter regardless of whether a wheel washing facility is in place or not. That again is a wholly unreasonable position for the Council to hold as clearly should problems occur then there has to be a ready mechanism for dealing with them. Option 3 – Do nothing until a problem occurs and deal with that problem accordingly. Option 4 – The developer may be required to put in a wheel washing facility on the new access which is being constructed. Any problem which may then arise from the condition of the carriageway could be immediately addressed via a requirement for those vehicles to pass over and be cleaned on that facility. There would therefore be a facility ready to be utilised should any problems occur in due course. Policy Implications 10. Policy implications are for an appropriate development to take place under the provisions of the Adopted Local Plan without detriment to residential amenity and road safety. 2

Local Agenda 21 Implications 11. None Community Safety Implications 12. A safe carriageway is fundamental to public and community safety. Risk Management/Health and Safety Implications 13. The ability of the Council to control adverse conditions resulting from development is fundamental in the development control process. The first element of risk management is to abate the risk and having a facility in place ready to do so would be squarely inline with risk management good practice. Financial Implications 14. Any financial implications are those of staff time and court costs should action in the Magistrate Court be required. Conclusions 15. The requirements of the planning permission are quite clear in terms of requiring a wheel wash facility to be in situ and operational. The planning system is however not in place to pursue purely punitive action against developers and it would not be appropriate to require wheel washing simply for the sake of it without any nuisance actually occurring. The developer should in the view of Officers be required to put in the facilities concurrently with the formation of the new access and be required thereafter to use that for all vehicles should a potential be identified by Officers or this Committee.

RECOMMENDATION It is recommended that option 4 is the appropriate option to pursue.

Town Hall, NELSON, Report Author: Neil Watson

(Tel:) (01282) 661706 E-Mail: neil.watson@pendle.gov.uk

Background Papers: Ref: Z:\SAsghar\Neil\Reports\16.01.07 Colne Area Committee - Empress Mill Hollin Hall.doc Date: 16/01/2007

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