Derelict Leyland sites which have long-established planning permission for housing developments could finally be brought to life in the New Year, an influential businessman has said.
South Ribble Council granted planning permission for 566 new houses across the borough in 2012 - but work is still yet to start on some major developments approved years ago.
The Farington Business Park site behind Morrisons has consent for 471 homes to be built there, and the owner of the land says there has now been some movement on the project.
Martin Ainscough, who made his fortune from the family-run Ainscough Crane Hire business, had to apply for the site’s planning permission to be extended in June after the three-year deadline expired.
But he has now revealed that plans are in place for work to finally start in the next year.
He said: “There has been some movement now and I’m hopeful that during the course of 2013, part of the site can be brought forward for development.
“It will be a phased approach, so I think a third of the site will come forward in the next 12 months.”
He added: “Things are looking up generally for the housing market, so I think 2013 will be the year that we start to see things coming back in Leyland.
“The housing market is still tough, but it’s certainly improving, and at the end of the day, there is a requirement for houses in this area.”
The council has to deliver 6,255 houses in the next 15 years across South Ribble, which equates to 417 per year.
In the last year, it has given the go-ahead for a few new housing sites, including 69 houses in Jubilee Road, Walmer Bridge, 209 homes in School Lane, Bamber Bridge and 80 off Wigan Road in Leyland.
Plans were also passed for 82 houses on the former Prestolite site in Leyland, off Cleveland Road, and builders moved on to the site towards the end of 2012.
But work is yet to start on a number of approved developments across the town, including the former Roadferry depot off Carr Lane and Northgate, next to Mr Ainscough’s Farington Business Park, which Peel Holdings secured permission to build 60 homes on in 2010.
There is also approval for 160 houses off Grasmere Avenue in Farington, and a decision is awaited over the future of land in Farington Moss, between Heatherleigh and Croston Road.
The site has been earmarked in the council’s Local Development Framework (LDF) as having room for 650 homes.
Although the LDF document has yet to be signed off by a planning inspector, a number of developers have already submitted plans to build there.
Residents have formed an action group against the proposals by Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors for 350 homes, and Wainhomes has since submitted an additional application for a further 14 houses off Murray Avenue.
Plans to build 107 houses on land between Coote Lane and Church Lane in Farington Moss were also put forward by two individual landowners, and a decision by the council is yet to be made on the three separate applications.
In September, developer Neil Kay had to re-submit plans to demolish an old factory and build 35 houses in its place, as planning permission secured in 2008 expired before work had started.
The council’s planning committee initially turned down the proposals to pull down the Expac building on Dunkirk Lane and build a new housing estate, but permission was granted on appeal by a planning inspector.
The re-submitted application is still pending, but residents have recently opposed it based on traffic problems in the area.
Homeowners in another part of Leyland were pleased in September though, when a long-standing plight to stop 14 houses being built opposite Bretherton Terrace were turned down by the planning inspector.