Pub company Punch Taverns has submitted an application to Salford City Council to build eight houses on a former bowling green behind the Rock House pub in Barton.
Barton and Winton Councillor John Mullen, speaking at a meeting of the council’s planning and transportation regulatory panel, says the planning report is “littered with factual errors” and the site “is of historic interest”.
Punch claims that the space hasn’t been used since 2006. Whereas Cllr Mullen claimed the history of licensed events on the site shows that it has been home to car boot sales, charity events, children’s days, and other community events since 2006.
Coun Mullen said that the community has become “attached” to the piece of land.
Fourteen households from the area have objected to the proposal, and 435 signatures have also been collected for a petition expressing opposition to the re-development of the former bowling green.
Those in opposition to the proposed plans instead support an allotment as an alternative use of the site.
A representative of the applicant Punch Taverns, Jeremy Heppell, claimed that the site would not be able to accommodate the minimum number of plots and ancillary facilities that would be required to sustain it as allotments.
Coun Mullen argued that the site is big enough for a required container and composting toilet. He went on to say that the idea has “not been examined properly.”
Coun Mullen also explained his disappointment with council officers after it took them four months to tell him his application to list the land as an asset of community value, which needed to come from a constituted group.
A resident who lives adjacent to the site, Paul McKenzie, said: “To add just eight houses on such a valuable piece of land, that means a lot, to a lot of people, doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to the housing in the area.”
Coun Mullen asked the panel to defer the application for six months to allow them to explore other options for the land.
The panel unanimously deferred the application, requesting a robust report to examine the land’s value before the development of the site can go ahead.