Lanes Penwortham IM
The illustrative masterplan shows the new school in the northern part of the site. Credit: planning documents

Taylor Wimpey struggles continue in Penwortham

Neil Tague

The housebuilder’s latest attempt to win support for 1,100 homes at Pickering’s Farm, one of South Ribble’s major sites, is facing refusal.

An extraordinary meeting of the council’s planning committee is to be held on 29 November to consider two applications lodged by advisor Avison Young.

In the main application for The Lanes project, Taylor Wimpey, working with Homes England, proposes up to 920 homes, a local centre including retail and community uses, and a two-form entry primary school.

A second application, for land to the east of the main site, covers up to 180 homes. A spine road through the whole site is suggested as part of its infrastructure.

Pickiering’s Farm is classed as one of South Ribble’s four major development sites, along with Cuerden, the Moss Side test track in Leyland and land at Farington Moss.

The project team includes architect 5plus, transport consultant Vectos, and landscape architect Xanthe Quayle.

A previous outline iteration of the scheme has previously been lodged with the council, along with a detailed application for the Cross-Borough Link Road. In March this year, both those applications were withdrawn, following the planning committee’s unanimous rejection of the masterplan application in September 2020.

In its planning statement, Avison Young describes this revised masterplan as looking to demonstrate how the land in the applications, the remainder of the allocation site and, in time, safegaurded land to the south, could be developed.

The current application has aroused a number of objections locally, as is generally expected on such applications, however a number of statutory consultees have also raised concerns at various levels.

These include highways representatives at county and national level, Sport England, Cadent and South Ribble officers covering environmental health, public rights of way and strategic housing and planning.

Planning officers point out that although much of this could be dealt with at reserved matters stage, and that the scheme is largely policy-compliant in areas such as green infrastructure, the proposals fail to meet policy requirements in providing a firm enough commitment to the Cross-Borough Link Road.

While the CBLR does not now form part of the application, Avison Young’s planning statement said that the spine road through the site would be built to the standard required to form part of the route, and that provision would me made to continue the road across the rest of the allocation.

The 195-acre Pickering’s Farm site forms the bulk of the 244-acre allocation. It sits to the east of the A582 Penwortham Way, immediately south of the Kingsfold area of Penwortham, with the west coast mainline running to the east.

The vast majority of the site would be accessed from the A road, and 40 houses from Bee Lane.

The Keep Bee Lane Rural Group, in its objection, states that previous talk of a park & ride scheme or a railway halt have not appeared in the current masterplan, leaving it with “no realistic sustainable transport initiatives”.

The use of an existing single-track road bridge over the railway to access the site is also flagged up as a potential issue, a concern echoed by Network Rail, which said that the existing bridges should not be used for construction traffic.

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You have to question the logic of this development given the vast housing estates being built north of Preston around Cottam. why does the development need to be on this scale, im not surprised the locals are unhappy about this.

By Jon P

They should try being a bit more creative, instead of just plonking the same cookie-cutter designs on a random field like all the other housebuilders.

By Anonymous

Smaller, better and more imaginative is what any scheme here should be. Perhaps also take a leaf out of Huncoat Garden Village’s book and use a design code (Hyndburn as a pilot for the National Model Design Code)

By SW

Try not building on fields that flood constantly. All the fields around Bee Lane flood and the one next to Moss Lane is particularly bad. Also traffic congestion on Leyland Road is horrific already.

By Ian