Fury as developers miss vital meeting

Developers have come under fire for failing to turn up to a public meeting about a new housing estate.

Peel Holdings already has planning permission for 60 homes at the current Roadferry site off Carr Lane.

But subsequent plans to change the access route to busy Northgate has caused uproar among residents who came together on Thursday to discuss the plans.

Peel Holdings failed to attend because they said they had prior commitments.

At the meeting, at the Civic Centre on West Paddock, a spokesman for the residents said: “A lot of us had prior commitments but we made the effort to come here. It’s very easy for them to say they had something else to do.

“We have children living on that busy road. It’s about their safety.”

Outline planning permission for 60 homes on the site was granted in March 2010 but the application approved access off Carr Lane, not Northgate.

It is now proposed that all traffic will go down Northgate and a cycle link and footpath could be built on Carr Lane.

Joanne Crompton, who lives on Hastings Road, said: “I have lived here for 12 years. Everyone uses our road for parking.

“If you are going to put all this traffic through Northgate they are going to be going down Hastings Road. It can’t take it.

“We have children. There is a nursery on there. It is going to be dangerous and it has become impossible to live here.”

Following the application by Peel Holdings, a further application was submitted by developers of Farington Business Park, where planing permission for 471 houses and apartments was passed in 2009, who now also want to use Northgate as an access point.

Agents Nabb Associates and applicants Ainscough Group did attend the meeting to talk to worried residents, where they admitted the application was a ‘rushed job’.

The agents said: “It came to our attention a month ago that an application had been submitted by Peel to come off Northgate.

“We were asking to do this in 2009 and we were told no. We needed to get an application in quickly to protect our clients.”

They explained creating a new access point off Northgate would make the site more attractive to developers. They estimated the new access would service around 90 homes.

Andrew Hodgson, speaking on behalf of the Ainscough Group, said: “Commercially it is beneficial as we can portion off the site and service it with that access.

“To deliver 471 houses in this climate is not easy. If you have got as many accesses as possible then we can get different developers and do it in stages. The more accesses we’ve got the more attractive it is to builders.”

Coun Caleb Tomlinson, who represents the Leyland Central ward at South Ribble Council, said: “Northgate is not fit for purpose anymore. With another 150 houses you’re talking twice as much. It is just crazy.”

Peel Holdings were not available for comment when contacted by the Guardian.