A PLANNING application to convert the former Weavers Answer public house on Milnrow Road, Shaw into an 18-room, temporary homeless hostel has been refused.
A total of 106 comments about the proposals were received with all but three opposed to the development.
Objections varied from the building is not big enough and social issues will cause problems for existing residents to parking concerns and potential for anti-social behaviour.
Shaw and Crompton Parish councillors also recommended refusal on the ground the plans would create an “unacceptable visual amenity”.
Now the application has been rejected because roof alterations and two proposed dormers would “cause significant, adverse harm on the character and appearance of the building and street scene”.
There were no objections to the scheme from OMBC’s highways engineers’ department.
In a report confirming the decision it was also stated: “With regard to concerns of potential anti-social behaviour and social problems, whilst such considerations can represent material planning considerations, it is necessary for such concerns to be based on definitive evidence, and in the absence of such, refusal of the application on such grounds cannot be justified.”
However, the refusal notice also said: “The proposed development would not improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area and therefore does not comprise sustainable development.
“There were no solutions to the scheme or conditions which could reasonably have been imposed to make the development acceptable.”
The application, on behalf of Nelson based CarePoint HC, sought planning permission to change the pub to temporary sheltered accommodation, providing 18 single bedrooms.
As part of the conversion blueprint there was provision for a hip to gable roof extension to allow two large dormers (one to the front and one to the rear) along with alterations to windows and doors.
The applicant, if minded, has six months to appeal the decision.
Councillor Howard Sykes said: “All councillors recognise there is a need for accommodation of this type in Oldham.
“But this is not the right location for it, and that its why local councillors, the Parish Council and residents objected so strongly.
“The applicant now has a legal right to appeal the decision and even if this is unsuccessful they may choose to resubmit the application in a modified form or to repurpose the building in some other way, so this is one to watch.
“In any case, the planning decision makes clear that any application involving the creation of a hostel or a multi-bedroomed property must become licensed with the local authority as an HMO, or House in Multiple Occupation, which will present a further hurdle.”