Elation as controversial Wyre homes plan thrown out

The plans for Copp Lane
The plans for Copp Lane

Overjoyed residents have won their battle against controversial plans for almost 100 homes in Wyre.

Planners rejected an application from developer Metacre to build 93 new houses off Copp Lane in Great Eccleston.

Councillors voted against the recommendations of planning officers who had recommended approving the scheme, despite overwhelming opposition from residents.

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A spokesman for Great Eccleston Action Group said they were ‘elated’ with the decision to reject the prposed development.

In a statement, the group said: “Great Eccleston Action Group has won a significant battle to restrain the building of more luxury houses in the village of Great Eccleston.

“Our councillor’s showed great concern over the use of countryside areas and lack of infrastructure and road facilities to support any further development.

“The group is of course elated by this decision and would like to publicise that without the support of the villages, the parish council and of course the councillors on the planning committee then this application would have been simply nodded through.”

The spokesman added that there are concerns the lack of a local plan for Wyre is making it harder for residents to oppose developers.

A local plan for Wyre is currently under development, which will set out the council’s vision for growth and development in the borough.

A decision notice signed by David Thow, Wyre Council’s head of planning services, said the scheme would have a ‘detrimental visual impact on the open countryside’. The notice also referred to fears the plans would have had a negative impact on road safety in the area.

Plans for up to 90 homes at nearby land, also off Copp Lane, were approved by council planners in January last year, despite local objections including from Great Eccleston Parish Council.

The Great Eccleston Action Group spokesman added: “This time round, Great Eccleston Action Group were determined to have their say and with the support of most of the village and over 200 objectors they were successful in getting the plan called in.”

Last year, plans to build 165 homes on land off Lambs Road in Thornton were given the go ahead by a government inspector who overruled council planners, after they refused permission.

In her ruling, inspector Louise Gibbons said the fact the council was unable to show it had a five-year supply of land suitable for development – as required by the Government –was a ‘significant’ factor in her decision.