A pub location in Skelmersdale is being cleared for new homes, but councilors have called for action against e-scooters with shortcuts.
They also ask for clarification as to whether the partial blocking of access to an adjacent terrace road was ever official or legal.
The Planning Committee of the West Lancashire Borough Council has given approval for the redevelopment of the former Railway Tavern Pub near the Blaguegate Playing Fields and the surrounding property with houses. The applicants are Ian and Jeff Hill, who also own Hills Salvage and Recycling.
However, one of the conditions for approval is that the right of way status must be cleared on nearby Taylor Street on Ormskirk Road.
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Planning committee councilors were told that access to an industrial workplace along Taylor Street was partially blocked years ago, apparently to redirect workers to another street. Taylor Street was said to be particularly narrow.
A Taylor Street resident, Mr. Hunt, told the meeting, “I have no objection to the overall plan, but just a few changes I would like to have in terms of daylight, privacy and the location of a trash can in the parking lot of the new building. The tall buildings would block the daylight and overlook my garden, and the garbage cans would be very close to our border walls. There are many other places the trash cans could go to. “
He added, “I’ve lived on Taylor Street since 1965. When we lived there the road was just a dirt road, but later the council took it over. We fought for the road to be blocked off with bollards at the upper end and for another driveway to be built.
“Reopening the street would harm our safety and others who walk up and down the street. It is a narrow street and sidewalks are insufficient.”
Driving motorbikes and electric scooters on sidewalks and taking shortcuts is a problem, felt some residents and city councils. And the new homes would also lead to more pedestrians on Taylor Street, it said.
However, the redevelopment plans confirmed the guidelines and were recommended for approval by officials. The lack of three-story buildings elsewhere in the area was not a valid reason to reject the plan, councilors were advised.
Planning Committee Chair, Coun David O’Toole, said: “It was part of a busy industrial site but had been in disrepair for years. I would have thought it would be an improvement to develop this location and the old Railway Tavern is quite a tall building itself. “
Skelmersdale Coun Nicola Pryce-Roberts said: “Basically we support this development. However, the apartments will be further ahead than previously shown. Local residents have concerns about access to the new homes, road safety, the height of the new homes, the location of the garbage dump, and access to Taylor Street. It is already a very demanding area and we would like an independent road safety audit.
“In Skelmersdale there are also many electric scooters and bicycles that are driven asocially. This is probably not an issue for the police, but it is a serious problem, especially with e-scooters. I heard about a report this week about a retiree who was run over by an electric scooter this week. Another problem was teenagers climbing on the old buildings including the roof.
“We’re not against new homes – we just want safer development. There are other areas in which there are no pedestrian passages. “
It was agreed to look into some changes, including a higher wooden fence on the severed path, a new location for the garbage dump and a clarification of rights of way around the site.
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