On August 18th Wyre Forest District Planning Committee met to discuss the planning application for a new development on the former Lloyds Garage Site in Bridge Street, overlooking the heritage site of Stourport Canal Basins, which the Council currently utilise as a car park.
Cllr Chris Rogers, as a member of the Planning Committee raised several points during the meeting that the proposal did not meet the National Planning Framework which states:
“When considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to the asset’s conservation (and the more important the asset, the greater the weight should be). This is irrespective of whether any potential harm amounts to substantial harm, total loss or less than substantial harm to its significance”.
Cllr Rogers said “Stourport is a location with national heritage significance and I feel that far too little importance has been given to this in the Conservation report. This means there is a legitimate call for the development of the site to pay due regard to both its importance as a gateway to the basins and to the Stourport-on-Severn No.1 Conservation Area which this area is a part. Something which the Conservation Officer agrees with.”
After the planning committee refused the planning application Cllr Rogers said “I would like to think it’s possible to find an appropriate use for the Bridge Street car park. It’s good that there is interest in developing the site, which shows that it’s a viable location. However, the failed proposal simply isn’t the right use for the location. A mix of retail and residential would be far more appropriate.
In the past discussions with the Canal and River Trust regarding opening up access to the basins failed. However the face of high streets and retail have changed since then, so perhaps now would be the right time to start those discussions again with a view to future leisure and tourism and a development better suited to our historic town.”
The Conservative Group looks forward to working with Wyre Forest District Council to ensure that a site to develop additional homeless accommodation can be identified.