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Third time lucky for homes plan - and some are not happy

The A6 Garstang Road is already notorious for heavy traffic.
The A6 Garstang Road is already notorious for heavy traffic.

It was a case of third time lucky for one controversial housing site plan just south of Garstang.

A re-submitted bid by housing developers Wainhomes for outline plans off Garstang Road at Barton returned to Preston Council planners yesterday – and this time was passed to the disappointment of local councillors.

Chairman of Barton Parish Council, Graham Jolliffe, said: “We are disappointed having had the application turned down twice and on a very sound basis.”

Wainhomes had been knocked back twice in recent years but eventually got the green light because of Preston Council’s housing supply shortfall problems. The bid relates to a 45-strong housing site.

Wainhomes first submitted plans on the site in 2015 that were rejected by the council as it then had a demonstrable five year housing supply.

The town hall said the development would constitute an “unacceptable expansion of a rural village” and was contrary to local planning guidelines.

A second bid a year later was rejected on similar grounds although the decision was taken to appeal.

A public inquiry was held in June last year with an independent inspector upholding the initial decision.

The latest bid came in the wake of the local authority losing two appeals relating to sites in Broughton and an inspector deeming there is a “substantial shortfall” in the city region’s housing supply.

And in previous meetings, councillors have warned about the risk of being forced to pay substantial costs if decisions not based on planning policy are taken to appeal.

Coun Jolliffee added: “It’s a really complicated situation with the national planning situation. It points towards the current planning legislation not being built for the parishes and is having its impact on parishes in and around cities.”

Parish Coun Trevor Tomlinson bemoaned the decision, saying: “It’s very disappointing. What we say doesn’t seem to matter anymore. They seem to be hell bent on covering Barton in houses.”

He added that they will keep fighting the urbanisation of greenfield land but that “it doesn’t seem to have any effect at the moment” and that “it’s happening all over the countryside”.

Issues regarding congestion on the A6 Garstang Road were previously raised.

Wainhomes will be expected to contribute to the costs of a cycle lane on the A6 as a condition of the application being approved.