COUNCILLORS rejected an application to turn a garage into supported living accommodation for people with learning disabilities, against planning officers’ recommendations.

Around 40 residents of Wibbersley Park, in Urmston, turned up at the Trafford planning committee meeting, on April 10, to express their objection to the application.

Applicant Simon Hartland, who was not at the meeting, had wanted to turn the single-storey garage of his property – on the junction of Irlam Road and Wibbersley Park – into a two-storey conversion, providing three en-suite bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen/dining and lounge room.

The proposal stipulated that the third, smaller bedroom would be for the use of a carer to stay overnight and that four parking spaces would be provided.

But speaking on behalf of Wibbersley Park residents, ward councillor, Paul Lally, said the very small site is unfit for ‘the most vulnerable people in our society’.

“I have grave concerns about quality of life within this particular project,” he said.

Cllr Lally also expressed disquiet that six to eight cars could be parked at the address at one time and the impact this could have on road safety.

Kicking off a lengthy debate, Cllr Laurence Walsh said a number of people expressing a particular view would not sway the committee’s decision, but he did feel sympathy for the residents.

Cllr Brian Shaw said: “I think it won’t be long until we have accidents there.”
But Labour councillors Phil Gratrix, Ejaz Malik, John Smith and Dolores O’Sullivan voted in favour of the application.

Cllr O’Sullivan said: “It seems a very tasteful redevelopment, I like what I see.”

Committee chairman and ward councillor, Viv Ward, said: “If this has been anyone else’s ward I wouldn’t be happy with it.”

The application was refused by nine votes to four.