Row brews over new housing plan

Coun Ron Greenhough
Coun Ron Greenhough

Newly lodged plans for more housing estates near Garstang have attracted attention from protesters already trying to halt the rural Wyre building boom.

The past week has seen plans which, if approved, would see up to 144 homes built at Bowgreave, south of Garstang.

Without a new direction the business will not progress or expand to enable it to maintain a viable business and community attraction

The latest plans are on sites at Garstang Golf Club, for up to 95 homes, and agricultural land off Calder House Lane, up to 49 homes, close to the site of several recently built and pending new estates.

Bowgreave residents are already fighting a scheme for 32 homes on Garstang Road, immediately south of Garstang Academy. This summer, their objections failed to halt Wyre Council’s planning committee chaired by Coun Ron Greenhough, approving 30 homes at Bowgreave House Farm, Garstang Road.

The two new planning applications at Garstang Golf Club and Calder House Lane, look set to add to the ongoing housing land controversy in Garstang and the district.

The plans for the Golf Club, submitted by Baxter Homes and Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club, show up to 95 homes on the club’s current driving range. A report accompanying the plans says changes are needed at the course to boost business at the golf club, including revamping the course as a 9-hole rather than the current 18-hole.

The report adds: “Without a new direction the business will not progress or expand to enable it to maintain a viable business and community attraction.”

Baxter Homes and Garstang Golf Club, in their application, reveal they have been told by Wyre that “given that the council is currently unable to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land, the residential development of the site would make a valuable contribution towards meeting the borough’s housing requirement.“

David Walker, a spokesman for Baxter Homes, said: “It’s already a developed site and golf as a sport and leisure activity is changing and the facilities have now become almost obsolete.

“The problem is people don’t want change. It doesn’t matter where the application is going, they all get objected to.”

Planning policy in rural Wyre has become a huge issue over the past two years, with the borough council’s lack of a blueprint local plan being highlighted.