The re-development of a former factory site to create an attractive canal side housing scheme
NJL Consulting was instructed by Argent on behalf of Betafence in late 2013 to lead the preparation and submission of a residential planning application at a former Betafence factory site on the edge of Wigan. NJL was tasked with preparing a number of supporting documents, as well as managing the large team of co-consultants instructed to prepare relevant, supporting documents.
The former Betafence site has remained vacant since its former use ceased a number of years ago and currently the site is an eyesore in a predominantly residential area and has become a popular site for communities of gypsies and travellers. Therefore, the general consensus of the nearby existing residents is support for the proposed development.
The site’s history includes mining activity and in order to ensure the site was suitable for residential development, additional investigative works were required by specialist consultants. It was necessary that supporting information be submitted alongside the application to demonstrate that this previous use was not a barrier to the site’s future redevelopment for residential purposes.
The shape of the site proved rather problematic when creating a suitable residential scheme at the location. The long, narrow nature of the site meant that it was quite a balancing act to achieve a loop road system through the site, while ensuring a viable and attractive development with the required amount of open space was created. This necessitated a number of meetings between the project architect, highways consultant and NJL Consulting. However, an appropriate and attractive scheme was created through discussions among the project team and with the Council.
Two access points to the site were identified, one to an adoptable standard. NJL, along with the highways consultant, are continuing to discuss the use of both access points to serve the development with Wigan Council to ensure safe and convenient access for all residents is provided.
NJL successfully co-ordinated the preparation of all necessary information required to support a residential development at the brownfield site, as well as additional information requested by the Council throughout the determination period.
NJL carried out a public consultation exercise and subsequently prepared a Statement of Community Involvement as part of the Planning Statement submitted. Also prepared by NJL was a Sustainability Statement, addressing the relevant sustainability considerations of the proposed development in relation to National and Local Planning Policy.
A team of specialist consultants was managed by NJL throughout the lifetime of the project, all of whom worked together to address any matters of concern on the site and demonstrate that the proposed development was achievable.
Following the submission of the application, NJL has liaised regularly with the local planning authority, ensuring additional information is provided where necessary and have discussed proposed conditions to be included should the application be approved, as well as the contents of the S106 Agreement to accompany a decision.
Image used courtesy of Archial Norr.