Barns plans get the go ahead

Photo Neil Cross'Residents protesting about the planned development of Dick Lane, Brinscall

Photo Neil Cross'Residents protesting about the planned development of Dick Lane, Brinscall

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Controversial plans to turn agricultural buildings into luxury homes have been given the go ahead by councillors.

Chorley Council’s development control committee voted 8-5 (with one abstention) in favour of allowing the development at Brinscall Hall Farm, Dick Lane, Brinscall.

The committee, which had already conducted a site visit, had been recommended by planning officers to approve the scheme, submitted by Muntzer Mughar.

The proposal is for the construction of six houses from agricultural buildings.

Objectors claimed the whole character of Dick Lane would be spoiled by the development.

A number of public objectors spoke at the meeting.

Steve Perry said: “My property will be overlooked. All other residents on Dick Lane will be affected.

“A third of the lane will be widened. It will be unsightly.”

He says the lane is regularly used by walkers and cyclists. He claimed the development is “not sustainable”.

Chris Howard, of Withnell Parish Council, said the parish council was concerned about the effect it would have on the road.

Councillor Margaret France claimed the development would change the character of the area into that of “an urban cul de sac”.

She said: “We’ve seen how beautiful that lane is and there are very few people in Brinscall that would like that lane tampered with.”

However, David Bailey, speaking for the agents - Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors - to the scheme, said a number of changes had been made to the plans and that they conformed with planning policy.

The committee was divided.

Councillor Danny Gee said: “I’m concerned about infringement into the green belt.

“Dick Lane is an iconic road in Brinscall. It’s one of the few roads I know where pedestrians use more than cars. It would change its whole character.”

However, councillor Richard Toon argued that the new homes ”would be visually more attractive” than the existing buildings.

Councillor Alan Whittaker said: “Government guidelines make it very difficult for us to refuse.

“Green belt policy that was sacrosanct has now come under attack.”

Councillor Paul Walmsley said there was no evidence Dick Lane would be “damaged”.

“From a road point of view, I can’t really object on that side of things,” he said.

He suggested if industrial or office development, for example was allowed on the land there would be a lot more traffic.

“There’s an opportunity to develop that land. We shouldn’t look at the negatives,” he said.

Councillor Jean Cronshaw said: “This is not to be the thin end of the wedge.

“If this goes ahead, I don’t want to see other developments there.

“I don’t want to see another Clayton Brook added onto Brinscall.”