Preston wins battle to deny 700 rural homes
Following multiple lengthy planning inquiries, council officers have successfully defended appeals from housebuilders, with 500 homes around Goosnargh blocked.
The initial decisions on each of the applications were made at a special planning meeting in February 2020. Prior to that meeting, each project had been edging towards approval as Preston struggled to prove a five-year housing supply, with schemes passed at various committee meetings.
However, with legal agreements not yet in place at the schemes, the situation was flipped by a successful planning appeal in nearby South Ribble, and a subsequent reassessment of housing numbers across the central Lancashire councils.
With targets recalibrated under the government’s then-new recommended standard methodology, Preston claimed the applications had been wrongly determined. The subsequent refusals led to this raft of appeals, with outcomes now delivered.
The sites where Preston successfully defended its refusals were:
Goosnargh Cottage, 826 Whittingham Lane and land south of Chingle Hall Cottage, 780-818 Whittingham Lane; a plan by Setantii Holdings for 65 homes.
Land south of Whittingham Lane; an 80-home proposal, also from Sentantii Holdings.
Land north-east of Swainson Farm, Goosnargh Lane; a proposal from Michael Wells for up to 87 homes.
Bushells Farm, Mill Lane; a Community Gateway Association application for 140 homes, 45% of them affordable.
Land north of Whittingham Lane, a scheme of 145 homes put forward by Gladman Developments.
Land north of Old Rib Farm, Halfpenny Lane, a 50-home proposal from Community Gateway Association.
Land north of Jepps Lane a 125-home development from Story Homes.
Preston did however lose out on an appeal over land at Swainson Farm, meaning Michael Wells has outline consent for 40 homes at the site.
Cllr David Borrow, cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council, said:
“This result is extremely good news and a testament to the hard work and dedicated time by officers at the council, who produced a comprehensive suite of evidence and robustly defended the Council’s decisions.
“New housing developments are necessary and as a City Council, we are committed to delivering real homes for real people in need, therefore we will continue to resist applications for housing in inappropriate locations.”
As Borrow suggests, Preston is keen to steer housing development into defined priority areas.
These include Cottam, where a raft of projects are at various stages, and a railway station is now under consideration; and Bartle. These areas will be accessed from roads currently under construction, the Western Distributor route and the East-West Link Road.
Borrow concluded: “We will continue to ensure that any new developments are in sustainable locations outlined by the local development plan.
“It is vital that they do not adversely impact residents in our rural communities and that they are supported with the necessary infrastructure in terms of access to roads, public transport and schools.”