Anger as unwanted access plans are passed

Bannister Lane, Farington Moss
Bannister Lane, Farington Moss

A Government inspector has over-ruled the wishes of a council’s planning committee and devastated residents in Leyland.

Homeowners on Bannister Lane in Farington Moss have accused South Ribble’s planning committee of ‘lying’ after members made assurances that their cul-de-sac would not be used to access a new housing development in the area.

Wainhomes applied for planning permission for the lane to be used on a temporary basis for residential traffic to a future 125-home development, despite the committee previously promising that the road would not be used.

But at a planning meeting on Wednesday night, councillors argued their hands were tied after a planning inspector ruled that the street would be suitable for temporary use.

Once Lancashire County Council builds a new spine road connecting Croston Road to Flensburg Way through the centre of the land allocated for housing, expected in 2016, Bannister Lane will no longer be required, she said.

South Ribble Council leader, Coun Margaret Smith, said at the meeting: “It’s imperative that we keep the pressure on Lancashire County Council for that spine road.

“We fight all the time to get infrastructure put in first (before houses are built) and the inspector has turned that on its head in this case.

“It’s very annoying for us and for the residents who we have given assurances to. But going against the inspector is not an option.”

But Farington West councillor Graham Walton, who sits on the planning committee, argued: “We know this site is going to be developed and we’re moaning that we haven’t got a leg to stand on, but I am going to support the residents.

“I am totally opposed to this. People are suffering daily, anticipating the amount of traffic which is going to go down Bannister Lane.”

Bannister Lane resident Ken DaCosta said: “If this is how democracy works, it’s not going very well.”

The access plans were approved on a vote of 13 to one.

- To read the full report of the meeting, see next week’s Leyland Guardian