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Campaigners rally against ‘illegal’ work

CAMPAIGNERS continuing to battle a controversial planning application in Bollington claim that work currently being carried out on the site is "illegal".

CAMPAIGNERS continuing to battle a controversial planning application in Bollington claim that work currently being carried out on the site is "illegal".

Macclesfield Borough Council is investigating the claims of the town's residents, but developers Avalon Property insist they are not breaking any planning rules.

Back in the summer of 2000 the company was granted permission, on appeal, to build two large industrial units on land next to Lowerhouse Mill in Bollington.

At that time 16 conditions were imposed, which the campaigners feel have not been adhered to.

The leader of the campaign, who asked to remain anonymous, said that one of these restrictions was: "Details of a scheme of compensatory flood plain storage should be submitted and approved in writing by the local planning authority."

She added: "Despite not receiving such approval, the applicants have started flood defence work on the site which must be contravening the conditions that were imposed on their planning application being granted."

But Avalon spokesman, Michael Hewitt, said: "All we are doing is levelling the site, we are not starting any building work whatsoever.

"The works are applicable to the old application and the new application. We certainly wouldn't be breaking any regulations or breaking the law."

A spokeswoman for the council said: "There is existing permission for development on the site. The council is aware of works currently being carried out and are investigating whether this complies with conditions of the original approval.

"If they are breaking the conditions we would have to consider what was the appropriate action to take, which would depend on what they are doing."

Avalon has since submitted modified plans for three smaller units, which will be decided by the borough council's planning committee on Monday, November 6.

The same campaigners are also fighting these proposals on the grounds of anti-social behaviour; quality of design; landscaping; building on an active flood plain; traffic and over development.

Bollington Town Council recommended refusal, while the town's civic society and the Environment Agency have also objected.

Jo Stone, a resident of Moss Brow, said: "Considering the fact we should be reducing our carbon output and keeping the countryside protected, I'm really concerned and disappointed that any building work is going ahead.

"There are vacant units in Tytherington that are not being used so why don't they go there?

"It's on a flood plain as well and it could make flooding worse in the area for residents.

"Albert Road, that leads from opposite the development area out to the main road, has two schools and a fire station on it and this is going to increase traffic problems on there as well."

But Avalon's Mr Hewitt said: "Wherever new development is going ahead on a site that hasn't be built on before people are always going to be concerned.

"But this site has always been designated for industrial use and if we didn't get planning permission for the new scheme it would be to the detriment of everyone.

"We are not building it higher we are building it lower, we are not building it bigger we are building it smaller. It has got to be the better of two evils."

 
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