Plea over housing fear

Aerial shot of Warton
Aerial shot of Warton

Residents and councillors in Warton have expressed their concerns the village could become overrun by housing developments.

The concern focuses on the fact that the village’s neighbourhood plan has not yet been approved by Fylde Council.

The neighbourhood plan submitted by Warton Parish Council last October outlined how it wanted the village to move forward and, more importantly, control the amount of new housing built.

Residents in the village believe that the delay in approving the neighbourhood plan will mean more housing projects approved by Fylde Council in the meantime.

John Westmorland, secretary of the Campaign to Protect Rural England Fylde District Group, believes the pressure for housing developments in Warton is a consequence of an unrealistic requirement for new homes in Fylde.

He said: “Planning officers have proposed that 366 homes per year is the appropriate housing requirement for Fylde.

“So this is the basis of 7,000 homes being needed by 2030.

“In our opinion this stems from an over-ambitious vision of economic growth in Fylde, one of the influences being the speculative success of the Enterprise Zone.”

Coun Julie Brickles, Fylde councillor for Warton and Westby, said: “Fylde Council do appear to be dragging their feet over the neighbourhood plan, I would have liked to have seen a little more progress with it.

“We have asked for a time- scale from the council but we have not been told anything.”

David Hoyle, a resident in Warton, added: “As the plan has waited on Fylde Council’s desk for seven months, it feels that they are ignoring it and will go ahead with giving planning permission for building homes that nobody seems to want to buy.

“At present with three building plots taking place, Lytham Road comes to a standstill every day for many hours.

“Every field around us will lose the wildlife and trees that will never be replaced.”

A Fylde Council spokesman said the council need to ensure the neighbourhood plan was “fully robust” before it was approved.

He added: “After the parish submitted their neighbourhood plan we have held a consultation and we are now working are way through the responses to that. It’s important we ensure the plan is fully robust as there is a danger it could fail at the examination stage by the inspector.”