Penny plan dropped – but it may come back

AN APPLICATION to demolish a former pub and build 10 homes on the site has been withdrawn.But The Correspondent understands another scheme to develop the Penny Farthing may be made.

Campaigners were left outraged when Tameside Council received an application to build five blocks of semi-detached houses on the Denton site.

Karl Illingworth, of Manchester Developments North West Ltd, originally lodged the documents but they were soon withdrawn.

However, it is believed Tameside Council planning bosses made it clear the turning circle with five blocks would be too small, meaning it was not likely to get the go-ahead.

However, there is a chance a different plan may be lodged, featuring three blocks of semi-detached houses.

The scheme left John Leech, chairman of the residents’ committee that hopes to save the Penny Farthing, outraged and claiming they were not given a fair chance.

In the design and access statement, it stated: “A group of local residents took it on as a community venture but it was not viable and they could not raise funds for the purchase.”

However, John countered with: “This was never the case. The facts were we were never given a fair chance, were totally duped and asked to pull the plug on our bid!

“The locals and residents of the area have all been duped!”

The battle to save the Penny Farthing has been ongoing since the pub closed its doors early last year.

And as former licensee Ben Jordan cleared his belongings out, members of the Save The Penny group outlined their aims.

They hope to buy the building and not only reopen it as a pub but also as a community hub
Planning documents for the proposal insisted any development will have ‘no detrimental impact.’

They also said each house will have parking for two cars and even suggested it could be a good thing for the area.

In documents, it says: “Only 20 per cent of the site will be covered with dwellings.

“Using these factors an appropriate scheme has been designed that will meet the requirements of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council and fit in with the site and its surroundings, will be fit for purpose and will not detract from the visual amenity of the surrounding area.

“As this scheme is for the construction of 10 semi-detached houses in the centre of a residential area replacing a former commercial use which involved many vehicles and long working hours, then it is considered to be of appropriate size and scale, and thus has no detrimental impact on the surroundings.”

A crime impact statement also says: “Such derelict and potentially accessible sites can often encourage loitering/gathering and foster nuisance, anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.

“If signs of disorder are not repaired/removed immediately, they can often attract further abuse and trigger a downward spiral of neglect and loss of environmental quality – giving the impression that such sites are not owned or cared for by anybody and that crime and disorder is tolerated.”

It is not known if or when a revised application will be made for the Penny Farthing site.

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