Anger at new homes bid

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A community has reacted furiously after a developer refused permission for 100 homes lodged plans for a scheme half the size.

As The Express went to print, Story Homes was set to hear whether its revised application had been accepted at a Fylde Council planning meeting.

Coun Frank Andrews who is strongly opposed to the revised Story Homes Limited application

Coun Frank Andrews who is strongly opposed to the revised Story Homes Limited application

Plans to build 100 homes to the rear of Willow Drive in Wrea Green were unanimously rejected by 14 councillors at a Fylde planning meeting back in September.

The revised application sees the developer seeking to build 49 homes.

Story Homes would once again need to demolish 15 Willow Drive in order to gain 
access to the site.

The original plan for 100 homes was rejected primarily because it was not considered a sustainable development due to issues concerning the scale and landscape impact.

Councillors have already raised concerns about the impact the homes would have on drainage, its size, its suitability and the capacity for Ribby with Wrea School to take on more pupils if the development was agreed.

Ribby-with-Wrea Green Parish Council stated: “The fact Story Homes has submitted a further application so soon after the last refusal is considered cynical and without any empathy for the residents of this village.

“This application, to provide an additional 49 dwellings, albeit an improvement on the previous application for 100 houses, is still not sustainable and still considered excessive in scale for Wrea Green.”

Coun Frank Andrews has said he is “stunned” planning inspectors recommended the application for approval.

He added: “Despite the reduction in houses, all the reasons why 100 houses were not sustainable are still valid for this application.

“There are already 130 homes in Wrea Green that are new build and that is a colossal number for a village like ours.”

Coun Andrews is not against all housing projects but believes Story Homes’ application is “by far the worst” currently under consideration by the council.

He said: “There are three different applications in Wrea Green at present and this is by far the worst and the one that would do the most damage, it would cause so much disturbance for the residents of Willow Drive.

“Local population figures are shrinking so I fail to see where the demand for housing comes from.”

John Rowson, chairman of Community Association for the Protection of Wrea Green has described the application as “disgraceful”.

Mr Rowson believes 
Fylde Council’s Development Management Committee has become inconsistent after rejecting several other projects in Wrea Green.

He said: “They have rejected housing developments on Moss Side Lane and Bryning Lane for less houses as they were seen to be unsustainable, so I don’t understand what the difference is.

“If this application was to be granted then we would have a 37 percent increase in the amount of homes built in the area since 2011, this is after the planning inspector said 33 per cent was enough.”

“Residents in Wrea Green are appalled by the application, there is no need for it, Wrea Green does not need any more affordable homes or large detached houses.”

Story Homes say the plans would help the local authority to address the under delivery of housing in the borough by boosting the supply and would also potentially offer up to 30 per cent affordable housing to address affordable housing needs in the borough.

David Hayward, development planner for Story Homes, said: “We have revised our original plans and we now propose to build 49 homes in Wrea Green.

“We do still believe that 100 homes on this land is achievable, sustainable and warranted, however, we have taken the feedback from the planning committee, council officers and the public on board and scaled back the proposal.”