Preston Western Distributor Site Map
Map showing the surrounding area of the £207m Preston distributor road

Preston mulls 1,100-home plan

Neil Tague

A new roundabout on the city’s Western Distributor Road would open up access to more than 1,000 new homes at Bartle, under plans by developer Robertson Group recommended for approval next week.

A hybrid application is to be considered by Preston’s planning committee, with full consent sought for the roundabout and associated works, and outline permission for up to 1,100 homes, with the possibility of a primary school and local retail centre in addition.

Planning officers have recommended approval for the scheme with the caveat that a Section 106 agreement be completed by 16 April. Funding for education is the main element of the conditions attached, with up to £8.3m sought for primary education and £3.8m for secondary provision.

The site in question comprises 111 acres in three parcels of primarily agricultural land, close to the 17th century Bartle Hall country hotel. The site will be divided into four development zones, with the applicant proposing either that 1,100 homes are consented, or that that number is reduced by 50 homes and the school and local centre added.

The £207m distributor road lies, literally, at the heart of the scheme, slicing through the plot. Approved in November 2018,  work began a year later, with the road expected to reach completion in 2023.

Preston Western DistributorA key strategic project in relieving congestion and opening up housing and employment sites, it links the M55 to the A583/A584 at Clifton.

The road’s construction forms a key part of officers’ thinking around whether or not development should be allowed: although the land is classed as open countryside, offices say that the area’s character is about to be changed massively by the road’s opening.

The land is adjacent to but not within the Preston North West strategic allocation.

The Robertson Group –  a Scotland-headquartered construction and development business – and co-applicant, The Trustees of the Tom Barron (1978) Pension Scheme, advised by planner DPP, propose four zones along these lines:

  • Zone A: east of the Preston Western Distributor Road, north of Bartle Lane. Up to 278 dwellings, made up of apartments and two-to-five bedroom houses.
  • Zone B: west of the PWDR, north of Bartle Hall and east of Rosemary Lane. Up to 389 houses and apartments.
  • Zone C: west of Lea Lane, north of Blackleach Lane, up to 178 dwellings.
  • Zone D: south of Blackleach Lane, west of Lea Lane, abutting the Fylde Council boundary.

Fylde has objected to the proposals, claiming that development is not sustainable, coming as it does in an area with little or no existing services or transport links.

Fifteen further objections to the housing application have been submitted to the council, including one covering eight households, several contending that the plans run counter to policy, being largely on land allocated as open countryside.

Preston’s committee will also examine proposals from Wainhomes and Stewart Milne Homes. Refusal is recommended for Wainhomes’ 42-home application at Sandy Lane, Cottam; while Stewart Milne’s reserved matters bid to build 98 homes in Broughton is recommended for approval.

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