Developers have been given the go ahead to build more than 300 properties in Kirkham – despite strong opposition from residents in the area.
Communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles approved two schemes on land at Little Tarnbrick Farm on Blackpool Road following an appeal.
The schemes had come under criticism from eight councillors based in rural Fylde, as well as 60 individually signed letters from residents in the area.
The first scheme is for 180 properties and was submitted by Gladman Developments, while the second is by Bloor Homes for 140 properties.
The planning inspector’s report into the proposals said: “While there would be loss of countryside, he (Mr Pickles) sees no reason to disagree with the inspector’s view that both developments can be satisfactorily landscaped and considers that they would not cause harm to the character and appearance of the area.
“When assessed against the framework as a whole, he (Mr Pickles) concludes the schemes would comprise sustainable development and that their benefits would significantly outweigh any adverse impacts.”
Gladman sought an appeal against Fylde Council for the non-determination of its application, while Bloor disputed refusal of planning permission by the council.
Residents objected to the schemes due to concerns over whether the existing infrastructure could cope with additional number of homes.
Kirkham Coun Keith Beckett said the decision was a “disaster” for the area, adding the land near Blackpool Road continually floods.
He added: “It’s all good and well people making decisions down in London, but they need to come here and see it for themselves.
“I feel badly let down, as do many others.”
Little Tarnbrick Farm – applications for the site
The developers behind the two applications for 320 homes in Kirkham said the town was in need of more affordable housing.
Bloor Homes applied for planning permission to build 140 homes at Little Tarnbrick Farm, and Gladman Developments wanted to build 180 houses in the same area.
Both applications were denied by Fylde Council’s development management committee in March, and the developers then appealed the decision.
But when the appeal took place in July, Fylde Council revealed interim talks with the developers had resulted in their reason for objection being dealt with and offered no evidence.
Speaking in July, Kirkham Coun Elaine Silverwood said residents had been “truly let down” by the council.