Fylde homes scheme wins consent on appeal

Simon Donohue

A planning inspector has overturned Fylde Council's refusal to provide permission for a project to build 100 houses in Wesham.

De Pol Associates, Preston, acted on behalf of landowner and developer Metacre in securing consent for the scheme as well as the costs incurred as a result of the delay.

Planning Inspector Clive Sproule said Fylde Council had acted "unreasonably" in refusing the application.

In his decision to grant outline planning permission, the inspector concluded the fact the site was designated as countryside did not outweigh the benefits of the proposed development – including helping to address the housing shortage and affordable housing needs of the borough.

Fylde Council's development management committee refused planning permission in September 2011, against the advice of its own planning officers.

A five-day public inquiry was held in Wesham in February this year.

The council withdrew its case on the first day but action groups continued to fight the appeal, defending the council's original reasons for refusal and contesting that it was unacceptable on a number of other grounds – all dismissed by the inspector.

Alexis De Pol, director of De Pol Associates, represented Metacre at the inquiry.

He said: "We have now won four appeals in a row against authorities in the North West and on each occasion we have been awarded costs because its behaviour in delaying otherwise appropriate development has been deemed 'unreasonable' by the respective inspectors."

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