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.”

Your Comments

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Good stuff – no more horrible cookie-cutter greenfield estates built by the same old major housebuilders. We need to be building densely on brownfield land only, close to city and town centres with decent public transport connections. No more greenbelt or greenfield land should be developed anywhere until we’ve absolutely maxed out all available brownfield land.

By Anonymous

Why is denying people homes to live in something councils seem to celebrate, all you are doing is making the housing crisis worse.

Its hilarious watching people stamp their feet and demand BROWNFIELD ONLY, when most of those sites simply are not viable, and theres not all that much of it left because the viable ones have already been done.

But celebrate all you want, while your taxes pay for homes england grants, your kids rent their entire life and then lose your house when you die due to death duty.

By Anonymous

There are plenty of brownfield sites in Preston, such as Cottam Brickworks. Why are the council dragging their heels on this?

By Scourge of Rome

I find the way people discuss the housing crisis blinkered, irritating and binary. It seems to either be ‘don’t build on green fields EVER!’ Or ‘right, let’s rip on the countryside because brownfield doesn’t cut it – otherwise our kids are doomed/get their revenge at the ballot box’.

A nuanced approach is surely needed. Mansion blocks and terraces in urban areas perhaps. Modern biodiverse garden villages with a 10 minute walk to facilities wherever you live. Extensions to existing housing stock. A mix of tenure types and ages.


The Cottam Brickworks site is being regenerated as a district centre – that’s shovel ready.


anonymous – there is plenty of brownfield land out there, and plenty of developers to develop it – look at Manchester and Salford over the last 10 years. If the major housebuilders can’t be bothered to invest and unlock these sites themselves then they should let others do it. Perhaps instead of plonking the same crappy semi-detached house style on every field in England at low densities, they should try building at a higher density with apartments and townhouses in 15 minute neighbourhoods as they do in mainland Europe. That’s how we solve the housing crisis – not by building suburban sprawl where everyone needs a car to reach their nearest depressing suburban restaurant/retail park.

More people are moving into cities than ever before because they offer jobs, social opportunities, and leisure facilities all within an easy walk of their apartment. Perhaps Redrow/Persimmon/Barratt need to understand that people nowadays don’t necessarily want to live out their lives living in a mundane estate on what was once a green field, spying into their neighbour’s garden just so they have something interesting to do for the day.

By open your eyes

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