Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 29, 2019

The New Proposal For Ormskirk Bus Station.

OWLs  write that “Downing Students , in partnership with West Lancashire Borough Council, are looking to bring forward plans for the redevelopment of the existing BUS STATION and CAR PARK in Ormskirk Town Centre. 

What do you think?

The plan is for 199 student beds, two retail units, plus a smaller bus station. Buses will be required to reverse, and there will be fewer bus stops.

We note that the proposals are for 4 storeys. Compare this to the height of the adjacent and surrounding buildings. 4 storeys seems like it will be taller than anything existing in that area, but perhaps not on the computer graphics?

Do you think there will be enough space for all the buses?

What about visiting coaches? What about the 16,000 new homes planned for West Lancashire?

One correspondent asked could it better serve as accommodation for vulnerable elderly people? We’d like to hear your ideas too; tell us below. OWL are calling for a FULL PUBLIC consultation, not a routine planning consultation . Currently there are no plans for a formal consultation, so it looks likely, once formally submitted, it will go before the planning committee in the normal way. That hardly seems appropriate for such a massive change.

More at http://www.ourwestlancashire.com/news270119.htm

If you agree, then we recommend that you email the Council Leader, Ian Moran at cllr.moran@westlancs.gov.uk 

Downing operates as a corporate property entity from Liverpool across the country. Turnover at Downing Construction is set to hit £100 million this year. 

Gordon Johnson, Our West Lancashire’s Derby ward spokesman, seen here  with Jane Thompson and Kate Mitchell,  said “The Borough council own this land. They should be fully involving the people they serve in deciding how it is redeveloped, not making cosy deals with developers and then presenting it as a done deal to residents. With a large number of student rental houses remaining unoccupied this academic year and Edge Hill University’s own figures forecasting a decline in student numbers over the coming years I am at a loss to even try and understand why the council would want to build even more student accommodation on the Ormskirk Bus Station site. It seems like a ludicrous idea to me.”


Responses

  1. This is exactly what I mean about the Owl/Chicken Licken approach. We do operate within a representative democracy, including the two Owls who voted in favour of this project at Full Council. They did so as elected representatives. Now they cynically call for the ‘Public to have their say’. Its this type of behaviour that gets politics a bad name. Shame on them.

    • Isn’t this comment a bit premature John? Leaving aside the Chicken Licken approach, which might bring forth the Twits, what is cynical about a call for the public, people like me, to have a say?

  2. I voted in favour of the principle of the scheme and expected a phase of public consultation which, with Downing Students launching their pre-planning consultation, seems is unlikely.

    The scheme we were shown as councillors (of course I am not permitted to show it to the public because you kept it private and confidential) had 6 bus stands and space for coach parking. What’s happened to that? The scheme of Downing’s is different from the scheme presented to councillors.

    Anyhow, do you favour giving residents a full say or not, John? Yes or No.

    • Well, there it is. It’s not the same scheme OWLs supported. Show us the whole scheme, or are we the residents and tax payers without a voice on the most important development in Ormskirk for years?

  3. That’s disingenuous Adrian, You never once raised any questions, even at the Councillors Briefing where you saw ‘the whole scheme’ – and you know full well that the reason for it being ‘private’ as you describe it, actually under Part 2 as per the Local Government Act which covers matters which are to go out to Tender so as not to disadvantage the Council (and therefore Council Tax payers) financially. The proposals have been the subject of several iterations over the preceding period of consideration as the financial feasibility has had to be explored to ensure the best value for money. I am in favour of consultation but also recognise the need to protect the interests of the Council when dealing within a commercial environment. I would therefore draw your attention as to what you voted for and the Recommendations contained therein, which had all the relevant caveats in place. Come off it.

  4. Hi John, I’ve re-read the report. Nowhere does it suggest in the recommendations that approval was given for “iterations” to amend the scheme It’s not the same scheme as came before councillors and the public should have their say.

    I notice you didn’t answer my question on that. Will you allow a full public consultation or not? Yes or No.

  5. I repeat, the proposals have been the subject of several iterations over the preceding period of consideration – meaning inclusive of the proposals worked up when you were deputy Leader when you were part of the then Tory Administration. I quote from the Minute bookMinute from Council 18 July 2018

    ” Consideration was given to the report of the Director of Development and regeneration, as contained on pages 197 to 224 of the Book of Reports, which provide an update on progress of the Moor Street Gateway Project, incorporating the Ormskirk Bus Station site (the Project) and to determine matters to allow future progress”

    Pretty clear to me and the public that you have been part of the decision making process and an experienced Councillor as you are should surely understand all the ramifications which that entails. I did answer your question, yes I am in favour of consultation as my recent activities have shown but I also understand the principle of commercial sensitivity when making such decisions – again as you must do.

  6. John,
    You should get your facts straight. The Labour run council launched the Gateway Project process. An earlier plan from the Conservatives took place after I left the cabinet.

    But you will try to distract. I will ask one final time, will you allow the public a say on these proposals? Yes or No.

  7. I’m afraid it is you Adrian which is trying to distract with semantics about what & when matters for the site were discussed. I repeat, it’s disingenuous of you to try and create the illusion that this is all a big surprise to you. You place a false choice in that you ask whether I will allow the public a say on the proposals – it is not in my gift to do so as you know. I will be guided by the correct Legal Protocols including the formal process of Planning, that’s my Portfolio.


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