Lancs housing approved at second hearing

A blueprint to develop 164 homes on the outskirts of Wesham in central Lancashire has been granted at the second time of asking.

Fylde Council has approved the outline plans submitted in October by planning consultancy De Pol Associates on behalf of landowner and developer Metacre.

The application had originally been refused consent by councillors despite having been recommended for approval by their officers. De Pol appealed against this decision and resubmitted the plans. Fylde's planning committee accepted its officers' recommendation for approval on Wednesday.

The new homes are planned for the north of the town, on land off Fleetwood Road. At an earlier planning appeal last year De Pol won permission on behalf of Metacre for 100 homes to be built on an adjacent site following a five-day public hearing.

In his decision to grant outline planning permission for those homes, the inspector's conclusion was that, although the site was designated as countryside, this did not outweigh the benefits of the proposed development – including helping to address the housing shortage and affordable housing needs of the borough.

Alexis De Pol, director of De Pol Associates, said the same argument held true for the latest plan which has now been given the green light.

He said: "Throughout the lengthy planning process to consider the future of these sites we have maintained that the proposed development will be of benefit to the area, with a proportion of much-needed affordable housing to help meet the needs of local people.

"It's an argument that we have laid out clearly and fully on behalf of our client to both the planning inspector and to the planning committee. We are delighted that the planning committee has finally agreed with our view and that the overall development can now move forward."

Earlier this year De Pol obtained reserved matters approval on behalf of Rowland Homes for the 100 homes granted outline permission on appeal in 2013.

As well as securing consent for the project on appeal, De Pol also won costs for Metacre incurred as a result of the delay.

Giving his decision, Planning Inspector Clive Sproule said that Fylde Council had acted "unreasonably" in refusing the application.

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