Housebuilder under fire over piecemeal plan

Part of Site W in Farington Moss
Part of Site W in Farington Moss
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Questions have been raised about a developer’s strategy to submit small, piecemeal planning applications on a large piece of land allocated for housing in Farington Moss.

Wainhomes has submitted a second application for the Site W land off Croston Road which does include enough houses to warrant any affordable housing.

In South Ribble Council’s policy, any application for 15 houses or more should have at least 30 per cent affordable homes.

A proposal by the developer to build 14 houses off Murray Avenue was passed last year, and building work has started.

Now, plans for 12 houses at the former Oaklands Nursery site off Moss Lane, near to the 14-home development, has also been passed by the council’s planning committee.

But residents and councillors on the committee raised concerns about the piecemeal applications.

Frank Hunt, who represents the Farington Moss Residents Action Group, argued that initially, the council said there would be room for between 600 and 800 houses within Site W, for which a masterplan was signed off by the committee last year.

But planning applications already approved show that more than 900 properties are set to be built there now.

Mr Hunt, of Leyland Lane, said: “The masterplan was supposed to prevent piecemeal developments. We’ve got some here and some there, and we don’t know how many we’re going to end up with.”

Earnshaw Bridge councillor Bill Evans said: “I’m concerned about the lack of affordable housing here.

“Are our officers confident that by the time Site W is finished, we will have achieved the right amount of affordable housing?”

The council’s principal planning officer Debra Holroyd-Jones responded: “It is unfortunate we’re getting small applications put forward, and we as officers are going to review our affordable housing threshold.

“But as it stands, this application is compliant with our policy and doesn’t require affordable housing.”

Legal services manager David Whelan added: “There is a feeling some developers are trying to get around the obligation of the affordable housing contribution, which it why we are reviewing our policy.

“But I am confident we will get the full amount (30 per cent) across the site.”

An agent speaking on behalf of Wainhomes said the plan is in accordance with the masterplan.