Plans to build more than 50 affordable homes on landmark Leyland sites have been welcomed this week.
An application has been submitted to build 33 affordable properties at the former Fishwick’s garage depot in Hewitt Street, and a separate proposal for 22 homes at the site of the closed-down Royal British Legion club on School Lane has also been put forward.
If approved, the two schemes will create a much-needed boost for South Ribble Council’s housing targets, and will allow eyesore buildings to be demolished.
South Ribble has an estimated annual shortfall of 660 affordable properties, and during the last financial year, only 48 affordable homes were built in the borough.
The council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and housing, Coun Cliff Hughes, said: “It’s very interesting that these applications have come in, and in a large degree, they would be very helpful to us.
“We’ve got affordable housing targets that we’ve never been able to reach, because we haven’t had many developments coming forward, and normally we have to rely on the affordable housing share from new developments.”
Guidelines state that any housing development of more than 14 homes in South Ribble should include at least 30 per cent of affordable properties.
Last year, the borough lost more than 100 affordable units when the Maltings flats in Penwortham were demolished because they were ‘no longer needed’ by the housing association, Places for People.
Coun Hughes added: “Not only are we not reaching our targets because we’ve been unable to, but the Maltings situation means that we’ve lost some which we need to make up for.
“So it’s good news for our targets that these applications have come in, and it’s good for people who are in need of affordable housing.
“Also, these are brownfield sites. The whole principle of affordable housing is that they are in reach of facilities people need, such as shops, bus stops and schools.
“There’s no point building them in the middle of a field where people would need cars to get around.
“These developments would be a good fit for the area, and they’re in a good location, but ultimately it’s for the planning committee to decide.”
Both applications request permission to demolish the buildings currently occupying the sites.
The Fishwick’s proposals have been submitted by Primrose Holdings based in Chorley, and are for a mixture of one bedroom and two bed apartments, and two bed houses.
The Royal British Legion plans are for eight one bedroom flats and 14 two bed houses, with private car parking and ‘communal amenity’ space.