Affordable housing plan earns council approval

The former Broadfield Service Station, Leyland Lane, Leyland
The former Broadfield Service Station, Leyland Lane, Leyland

Fourteen affordable homes are set to be built on the site of an old service station in Leyland.

South Ribble Council’s planning committee passed the proposals by Melrose Construction Ltd to build flats and houses on the Broadfield Service Station site off Leyland Lane.

As reported in last week’s Guardian, the developer said the scheme would be put under threat if a suggested financial contribution was required from them, for school places and public open space in the area.

County councillor Michael Green spoke at last week’s meeting to argue that such policies shouldn’t be ignored, because to do so means that the council is allowing ‘concrete jungles’ to be built in the area.

He said: “It is nice to see proposals put forward for a site which has been derelict for some time, but that said, I do have concerns in relation to the requirement that should be provided for education places.

“There should also be a contribution to public open space, but council officers have recommended the committee waives those requirements. I feel rather aggrieved that these policies are set and then ignored.

“If we allow this to happen, we are just building concrete jungles, and I don’t want to see that in Leyland.”

It was initially suggested that £47,522 would be needed from the developer, for an additional four primary school places.

Sitting on the planning committee, Coun Peter Stettner argued: “We say we want affordable housing, but then we don’t help builders to provide it?

“I agree that we shouldn’t ask for this contribution.”

Coun Bill Evans said: “There are spaces in plenty of schools in other parts of Leyland, so let’s get on with it. Let’s get some houses on this land.”

Coun Paul Foster added: “I understand what Coun Green is saying, but we’ve got conflicting needs here.

“We’ve got to look at the dire need for affordable housing.

“And we also need to realise that this applicant is offering a development consisting of only affordable housing.”

Coun Caroline Moon agreed: “I wouldn’t take the waiving of any policy lightly, but when you look at the fact that this will be 100 per cent affordable housing, that has got to take precedence.”