The Preston City Council planning committee rejected a proposal by Wainhomes to build 81 properties on two plots of land west of the ring road – officially known as James Towers Way – and south of Whittingham Lane.
The plots are in areas defined as open countryside – and are therefore not earmarked for housing development, neither in the City Authority Local Plan nor in the Broughton Parish Council District Plan.
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The committee meeting also learned that Lancashire County Council Road Officers had opposed plans to create an access point to the proposed estate by adding a fifth arm to the existing roundabout at the junction of James Towers Way and Whittingham Lane.
Although County Hall has indicated that its concerns – regarding vehicle and pedestrian safety – could be overcome by “further submissions” from the homebuilder, members were told that city council had yet to receive final assessment of higher authority highways. department.
Planning committee member Harry Landless said there was already “chaos” in the area during rush hour.
“It would cause an absolute nightmare to try to enter and exit this site from this roundabout at rush hour,” Cllr Landless warned.
He added he was “skeptical” as to why Wainhomes hadn’t sent a representative to address the committee, saying it seemed like demand – for a range of single, semi-detached and townhouses. , of which 28 would have been in the affordable category – had just been “thrown in”.
Village areas north of Preston have been the subject of a host of controversial development proposals in recent years in areas classified as countryside, most of which are linked to a long-standing – and ongoing – feud over whether the city can demonstrate that it has sufficient reserved land to meet its housing needs.
Committee member David Borrow said that while the current process of developing a new local plan would see the city “revisiting” the land that may be needed for development in the years to come, the council should not. “To feel pressured” to go against its existing policies in the meantime.
“The future local plan [will be] the one who was consulted and [which] the residents we represent know and their elected officials have approved.
“Otherwise, the whole planning process completely disappears and becomes… an open war over deciding where houses are built, rather than doing it in a planned way,” added Cllr Borrow.
For the first time, Preston is working with neighboring South Ribble and Chorley authorities to create a joint local plan covering all of Central Lancashire. The document will not be ready for adoption until December 2023 at the earliest.
A public consultation on the preferred options for the areas to be developed in each of the three districts is expected to be launched later this year.
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