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 tom.martin@champnews.com
Friday, 13 September 2013 (3042841)
Hightown homes to be rubber stamped
by Tom Martin


SEFTON council are set to approve plans to build 13 new homes in Hightown at a meeting today – despite strong opposition from angry residents.

The scheme, which has been recommended for approval at a site off Kerslake Way and Lower Alt Road, has been met with protest since it was first proposed and over 300 people have since signed a petition against the plans.

The Hightown Residents Action Group and Sefton MP Bill Esterson have been leading the protests and claim it will put more strain on the town's already heavy traffic congestion and spoil the unique rural feel of the area.

It is also feared the plans will harm the success of local shops with the introduction of more parking restrictions.

Mr Esterson, said: “Hightown is a small community and the surrounding open land is an integral part of the make-up of the village.

”I therefore share the legitimate and genuine concerns of a large number of its residents about the impact such developments will have on the nature of their semi-rural community.

“Over the coming weeks, months and years, I will continue to work with my colleagues on Hightown Parish Council to ensure that the wider community is not detrimentally affected by this development.”

It was first approved by the council on August 21 but due to an administrative error, the meeting was rearranged to September 18.

The reason behind this was because two objections letters received by planning services shortly before the meeting were not reported to the planning committee.

The chairman of the Hightown Parish Council, Tim Asbury, said: “There are more holes in this proposal than a tramp’s vest and its adoption would tear out the very heart of Hightown’s community and serve only to feed the greed of the developer.”

“This site is important to the village and that is why we are opposed to the development.

”It is home to significant wildlife and fauna which it is suggested can be captured and carted off elsewhere.

“If the committee follow the rules of democracy, the rule by which they were elected, they have the right to reject this application.

The plans also include a new one-way traffic system, the relocation of a bus stop and the extension of a ”no waiting“ area for cars.

Mr Asbury added: ”We don’t want our bus stop moved, we don’t want a new one-way system around the village green and we don’t want more parking restrictions which would be the kiss of death to the shops and amenities in the proximity of the green.“

But the planning report from Sefton Council claims it will not harm the ”character“ of the town.

It said: ”The main issues to consider are the impact on highway safety, the character of the area, the residential amenity, protected species and protected trees.

“The site is acceptable as it is complies with policy, adds to the housing supply within Sefton, does not cause harm to amenity and will be of benefit to the wider public interest.”






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