Underground car park plan set to be abandoned at apartments development

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Plans for an underground car park at a new development of apartments in a conservation area in West Kirby are set to be scrapped.

Blueoak Estates secured permission in 2022 to demolish two homes at 100-102 Meols Drive and replace them with 10 flats.

The approved scheme – which overlooks Royal Liverpool Golf Course and is being marketed as ‘The Links’ – included plans for 16 underground car park spaces, with another six at ground level.

However, the developer has now submitted an amendment which proposes removing the basement level car park and having a larger area of parking for residents to the front of the building with new landscaping to the side. In total there would be 20 spaces, rather than the 22 originally envisaged.

There would also be a reduction of three in the loss of existing trees, and an increase from nine to 20 in the number of new trees planted.

A total of 23 objections have been submitted, raising concerns about issues including the visual impact, noise and light pollution.

However, the amendment is being recommended for approval by council planning officers, who believe that although the presence of more vehicles could impact on the setting, “these spaces and the frontage in general will be well screened by existing and new planting and also by the garages immediately to the south in the grounds of the adjoining flatted development, adjacent to where the majority of proposed parking bays are located.”

They add: “Taking into account the context of what had been permitted and what amendments are proposed, the setting of the approved building and that of the Conservation Area is not considered to deteriorate. The judgement remains that the demolition of the now former buildings on this site and the erection of this new apartment will not harm the character of the Meols Drive Conservation Area and would be acceptable both in terms of adopted and emerging planning policy.”

The amendment, which also includes some internal layout changes and a correction to ridge heights, was due to be approved by council officers under what are known as ‘delegated powers’, but will instead be considered by the Planning Committee on Thursday 11 January, following a request from Cllr Andrew Gardner.

UPDATE: The decision was deferred by the Planning Committee after it emerged there was an error in the scaling of the documents submitted with the application. It will come back to a future meeting of the Planning Committee following further consultation.

Photo credit: Blueoak Estates website