Preston housing sites return to committee

Two schemes that have previously been refused will go before Preston’s planning committee this Thursday with recommendations to approve.

To the north of the city, Emery Planning is representing Wainhomes in an application for 45 homes off Garstang Road. The site sits opposite a 72-home scheme that was refused consent in 2015, but was appealed successfully and is now on site – another nearby scheme won through in a joint appeal, with the council accepting it could not demonstrate a five-year supply.

The site sits on the edge of Barton village, and is open countryside – proposals have twice been refused permission before.

The council is setting a Section 106 obligation that 35% of housing on the site, representing 16 homes, should be affordable, while the developer will also be asked to cover management and maintenance of green space on-site and make contributions for school places and a £110,000 sustainable highway infrastructure provision, with an agreement to be struck within a set timeframe.

The second scheme is a 175-strong residential project refused in December 2016. At an undeveloped 15.5-acre site off Tabley Lane currently used for rough grazing, it was denied planning permission on two grounds: that it constituted “piecemeal” development and ran counter to the North West Preston Masterplan, in which the council was seeking to downgrade Tabley Lane as a main traffic route. There were concerns that with a Redrow site to the south also in the pipeline, traffic would be increased without any improvement in cycling and walking infrastructure.

An appeal was lodged but later withdrawn and now PWA Planning, representing developer Andrew Duckett, has resubmitted the scheme in an outline application. PWA argues that the other scheme be disregarded, and makes the point that supply is again an issue, pointing out that the site sitds within a zone allocated for housing within the Core Strategy.

Preston’s officers’ report said: “The County Engineer has now resolved to raise no objections to the proposal and is satisfied that the proposed development can be accommodated on the existing public highway without any severe impacts.

“On this basis it is considered that the extent to which the proposal conflicts with the development plan, and the North West Preston Masterplan, is limited and the proposal is therefore considered acceptable in the context of boosting significantly the supply of new housing.”

In a busy agenda, committee will also pass judgment on a reserved matters application by Austringer Capital, advised by architect Cassidy + Ashton, for 46,000 sq ft of retail warehouse space supported by kiosks at the Eastway/Olivers Place roundabout.

City centre retail is also in the spotlight, with Lichfields fronting a bid to add flexibility to seven units at the St George’s shopping centre. The units front Friargate and Ringway, and three are currently empty.

The proposed alterations consist of the installation of a planted living wall system, awnings over the existing shop fronts, alterations to windows and the addition of Juliet balconies at first floor level and timber shop fronts recessed into the building, to creater covered seating areas to appeal to café operators.

In the final scheme, Hencap Housing, represented by Gerald Eve, is seeking consent at Trinity Student Village, a scheme comprising 399 apartments in 11 four-storey blocks with a central courtyard. Like both retail schemes, this is recommended for approval.

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