MP Bill Esterson will work with Hightown Parish Council to ensur

Bill Esterson and Hightown Parish Council

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he would work closely with Hightown Parish Council to ensure that the local infrastructure is not adversely affected after plans to build 13 new houses in the village were given the greenlight last week.

Bill met with Hightown Parish Councillors and residents prior to the approval being granted to hear their objections to the plans.

He wrote to Sefton's planning committee detailing the concerns and Hightown Parish Council and making sure that residents views were listened to by the planning committee.

Approval was granted for 13 two-storey houses to be built at the site off Kerslake Way and Lower Alt Road.

Bill said: "The planning committee felt there was no planning reason to deny approval. Some residents were very concerned about the impact on Hightown of the development, which is why it is important that residents concerns were considered by the committee.

"Planning rules make it very difficult for a local authority to oppose plans without any legal backing. New rules passed by this government, which gave a presumption in favour of development, essentially ties the hands of local authorities.

"So that would explain why planning permission was given despite the concerns raised.

"Parish councillors and residents told me that the development would have a detrimental impact on local traffic and infrastructure, and would change the village environment this community has enjoyed for years.

"In my letter to the planning department, I stated that the current road network in and around Hightown already struggles to accommodate traffic in the village at its current size. Residential expansion could place undue strain on the village’s narrow roads and single access point. In particular, access to the developed site would presumably require alterations to the footprint of the village’s only pub, to St Stephen’s Church, or to the protected Village Green. 

"Increased activity at the local Altcar rifle range has also been noted by residents in recent years. The village shares its road network with MoD vehicles and residents feel that additional pressures from new housing would exacerbate traffic conditions.

"Residents also told me that properties immediately adjacent to the planned access road have very shallow foundations. Traffic movements immediately next to those properties could cause structural damage and I would ask that a full survey be made of the effect of a new road on the houses opposite the Hightown Hotel."

Bill said he will now keep a close eye on how the development progresses and the impact on the community.

Bill said: "Hightown is a small community and the surrounding open land is an integral part of the makeup 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."


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