Council defend choice of refusing planning permission

Clancutt Lane, Coppull where plans have been thrown out for affordable housing
Clancutt Lane, Coppull where plans have been thrown out for affordable housing
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Chorley Council have defended their decision to refuse planning permission for a controversial development.

Redrock Ltd appealed the decision to block controversial plans for 47 homes on land off Clancutt Lane, Coppull, near Chorley.

The hearing, held a Chorley Town Hall yesterday, was led by planning inspector David Morgan who listened to the arguments of both parties, as well as local residents.

A total of 17 people attended the hearing throughout the course of the day.

Bill Fulster and Dr Terry Powell represented Redrock Ltd’s case, while Stephen Lamb and Nicola Hopkins spoke on behalf of Chorley Council.

Mr Lamb and Mrs Hopkins argued that the planning authority had sufficient specific sites to deliver housing for at least five years, while Mr Fulster and Dr Powell argued that too much of the supply is on Buckshaw Village.

Mr Fulster said: “One point that I would like to make is that there is an over-reliance on Buckshaw Village to deliver.

“It is over 40% of your supply that is on the site.”

Residents in attendance strongly opposed the idea of the new housing development, mainly because of highway safety fears.

Talking to the residents, Mr Morgan said: “We don’t want you to feel excluded from this process.

“I would like you to tell me your concerns.”

Responding Mike Dearden, of Birchwood Drive, said: “The main reason that I am opposing the plans is that the start of Clancutt Lane cannot be widened.”

He also raised the point that there is a ‘large colony’ of protected species in the area that need to be protected.

A petition signed by over 70 youngsters from the area was also handed to Mr Morgan.

Opposition also came from local resident George Batt, of Clancutt Lane, who felt that a new development could cause a deterioration in housing prices.

Previously, Coun Matthew Crow, who represents the Coppull area, told the Guardian: “It seems strange that they are appealing against the development control committee’s decision.

“They are the councillors elected on behalf of the people of Chorley and they refused it.

“A lot of people locally are not against the concept of a development there it was just that the scheme was not suitable for the area.”

Following the hearing, Mr Morgan and representatives from Chorley Council and Redrock Ltd went to meet local residents at the site.

A final decision will be submitted by Mr Morgan in four weeks, and the result is expected to be announced in approximately five to six weeks.

If it is approved, then houses will be built by January 2016.