Preston opts not to take planning row to High Court 

The city council has “reluctantly withdrawn” its challenge against the planning inspectorate’s decision to approve Wainhomes’ 151-home scheme at Cardwell Farm on appeal. 

Preston City Council had refused Wainhomes’ outline application for the Barton scheme in March 2020 but the planning inspectorate overturned that decision last year. 

In summing up, the inspector said “the proposal would boost the supply of housing in a situation where there is no five-year supply and an under-provision of affordable housing”. 

The city council had intended to contest the inspectorate’s ruling in the High Court but has now dropped the case following the outcome of several other planning appeals in the borough.

The authority successfully defended its decision to deny 700 rural homes across Preston. 

“We must acknowledge that since the Cardwell Farm inquiry the precise dynamics of the council’s position have been refined and our housing land supply has significantly changed,” said Chris Hayward, director of development and housing at Preston City Council. 

“In the past twelve months, the situation has moved on to such a degree that the specialised legal team advising the council has made clear that continuing the High Court challenge against the Cardwell Farm appeal decision would not be in the council’s best interests.” 

Hayward continued: “Whilst we are extremely pleased with the more recent appeal decisions in Preston, we are equally disappointed with the Cardwell Farm decision.  However, the council must act in the best interests of the city, and cannot jeopardise its position, which is to promote a plan-led approach to the sustainable development of Preston. 

“We know that Barton Parish Council and many residents share our disappointment with this outcome. We remain committed to delivering homes to meet the housing needs in Preston, but these must be in the right places, in sustainable locations outlined in the development plan.” 

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