After the Bolton News published a piece on the Planning Committee decision to allow the YMCA building in Bolton to be demolished, I received several complaints due to what the newspaper quoted from my speech. The quote they used does not explain why I voted against replacing the building, so here is the speech in full.
I voted against this planning application because the YMCA building is in a conservation area and that means the design of the new building must be taken into account when weighing up the pros and cons of replacing the existing building.
In my view, the new building design does not fit with the aims of a conservation area. This new building will be very modern, have almost no features that are in-keeping with the original building or the neighbouring buildings and it will utterly dwarf the buildings around it.
It’s for the reasons listed above that I voted against the application. Other members of the Committee came to a different conclusion, as they are welcome to, but given that I had read the reports and weighed up all the factors; I wouldn’t have been fulfilling my duties as a member of the Committee if I had simply voted the same way everyone else did just because they all came to the same conclusion as one-another.
I hope this sets the record straight and explains the situation to those who felt confused by the short quote in the paper.