Row brews over giant homes plan

How the Norcross site could be developed and (below) Coun Peter Gibson.
How the Norcross site could be developed and (below) Coun Peter Gibson.

Proposals to convert a former Government site into homes and a supermarket will come before a planning committee next week.

Wyre Council has received plans from land-owners Telereal Trillium to convert the former Department for Work and Pensions site, in Norcross, into the new space and create jobs in the process.

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Borough Council

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Borough Council

The proposals, which were first announced in January last year, include five hectares of residential development which is expected to be 170 homes, a 40,000 square foot supermarket a sheltered housing scheme and nearly three hectares of employment land.

The plans have been unpopular with Wyre Council’s opposition Labour group who want to see the site used exclusively for keeping jobs in the area, not for homes.

Jobs at DWP Warbreck, in Blackpool, were protected by Blackpool Council when they designated it an employment zone.

Coun Penny Martin, leader of the Labour Group, said: “We are still going to fight for jobs to be there and we need more homes, but they have to be in the right place.

“We don’t need them there where the road is log-jammed.

“We desperately need more jobs, but quality jobs.

“Blackpool Council showed a council can be pro-active but Wyre hasn’t been.”

But Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre, hit back.

He said: “I had a very pro-active meeting with the unions but the DWP made the decision to take the jobs away.

“Labour wanted to make it an employment zone but what is coming forward to planning will create more jobs in the area, unlike their jobs proposal, which would not create any.”

Around 1,000 workers transferred from Norcross to Blackpool’s Peel Park last summer after the DWP concluded it would close the civil service offices in 2012.

The site will continue to be an employment location, with 840 jobs in Clarke and Tomlinson House remaining as well as the potential new jobs in the 2.8 hectares of employment land in the new scheme.

Wyre’s planning committee will meet at the Civic Centre from 2pm on January 8.

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