Questions over extra 500 homes for test track site

Photo Ian Robinson
Chorley Aerials

Vehicle test track Moss Side Leyland
Photo Ian Robinson Chorley Aerials Vehicle test track Moss Side Leyland

Concerns have been raised a masterplan for a major new housing and employment development flies in the face of previous proposals.

Moss Side Councillor Michael Green said a local plan approved last year and a planning inspector’s review all agreed the 53 hectare former Leyland Motor’s test track in Moss Side was suitable for 750 homes and six hectares would be for employment uses.

“They couldn’t have picked more dangerous points along Longmeanygate if they tried”

But now landowner Property Capital has entered a masterplan for approximately 1,200 to 1,250 with five hectares for employment. They say there is not a cap on the number of homes, and it will reduce pressure on green field sites.

The masterplan for the site to be known as Doll Lane, will go before South Ribble Council tomorrow and is recommended for endorsement.

But Coun Green said: “I’m deeply concerned the number of houses is two thirds higher than what was agreed. It’s going to be too dense and the character of the area will completely change.

“It seems they’re forcing in as many houses they can get away with.”

The dossier also states there would be four vehicular access points - the primary access formed by a new roundabout along the northern boundary of the site with Longmeanygate. A secondary access point is proposed from Paradise Lane, with a further access point west from Longmeanygate. The employment area would be served separately from Titan Way.

Coun Green said this also differs from the previous plan to have two access roads from Titan Way - one serving the housing development, and one serving the new employment area, which would abut Moss Side Industrial Estate.

He said: “They want to put a roundabout near the Methodist Church and another entrance near the barn that was crashed into the other year. They couldn’t have picked more dangerous points along Longmeanygate if they tried.”

He added that reopening Paradise Lane was a “complete surprise” and would cause traffic congestion, and questionned a lack of provision on the site for young children.

A spokesman for Property Capital, said: “The site is allocated for a housing led mixed use development in the adopted local plan. Whilst the plan estimates the site’s residential development capacity to be 750 homes, it does not prescribe a cap and we are confident that the Draft Masterplan strikes the right balance between new homes, new business premises and green open spaces. It will also reduce the pressure for the release of green field sites for residential development.

“The Draft Masterplan includes lots of green open space, including reinstating Doll Lane as a green route for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. There is also the potential for investment to be made in Paradise Park and we look forward to listening to local views on this.

“South Ribble Council adopted a Development Brief for the site in 2009 which identifies the potential to access the proposed residential areas from Longmeanygate to the north and west and from Titan Way. The proposals in our Draft Masterplan broadly reflect that access strategy and have been the subject to detailed discussion with officers at both South Ribble and Lancashire County Council. We look forward to discussing our proposals with the local community as part of our consultation events”.