Developers appeal against home scheme refusals

Croston Road, Farington Moss, Leyland
Croston Road, Farington Moss, Leyland
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Two major housing schemes which were knocked back earlier this year will now go before a planning inspector for consideration in January.

Appeals have been lodged against South Ribble Council’s decisions to refuse permission for two separate homes plans in Farington Moss.

Landowners wanted to build 107 houses between Church Lane and Coote Lane, despite the site being ‘safeguarded’ against development.

The council’s planning committee turned down the proposals in March, because South Ribble’s Local Development Framework (LDF) outlines that the land should not be designated for any specific purpose at this time.

Planning officers said: “The application site is designated as safeguarded land in the South Ribble local plan, meaning the land is safeguarded against all types of development that would prejudice long-term comprehensive development of the land.”

The LDF has earmarked nearby land for major development which the council deems more suitable for homes, including Pickering’s Farm between Farington and Penwortham (with room for up to 1,350 houses) and land between Heatherleigh and Moss Lane in Farington Moss (up to 800 houses).

The council received 51 letters of objection from residents at the time, and a petition with 204 signatures opposed to the scheme was also put forward, citing concerns such as flooding problems, traffic and loss of green space.

Agent Peter Crompton from the BE Group, representing applicants Peter and Sheilagh Chester and Michael Gould, argued at the planning meeting: “The reasons for refusal are flawed with regards to this being safeguarded land.

“It is completely self-contained, and would not prejudice wider development.”

Mr Crompton told the Guardian last week that highways issues have since been ‘resolved’, and added: “The only thing which revolves around this now is the council’s view that it has more than sufficient housing land, and we don’t think that’s the case.

“This site is only suitable for housing, so to us, it’s a question of when it will be developed, not if.”

An appeal has now been lodged, and a hearing is set to take place on January 21 from 10am at the Civic Centre in West Paddock, Leyland.

The second refusal to be questioned is for 29 houses to form a new cul-de-sac off Croston Road, which was turned down by the planning committee in June.

The scheme, put forward by Hollinwood Homes, was knocked back because the committee felt it did not fit in with the wider plans for housing in the area.

Two masterplans, for the southern and northern sections of a 40 hectares site between Heatherleigh and Moss Lane, have both been approved by South Ribble Council this year.

They mean that in principle, homes can be built there, although formal planning applications still need to be submitted and approved before work can take place.

In this instance, committee members said the 29 homes did not fit in with the wider vision for Farington Moss.

Four letters of objection were also received from the public, and Farington Parish Council objected too.

Lancashire County Council’s highways officers said they could not support the scheme either, as the proposal was ‘premature’ to the council’s highways masterplan being singed off.

The appeal will be heard on January 14 from 10am at the Lancashire FA County Ground, Thurston Road, Leyland. Nobody from Hollinwood Homes was available for comment.