Green light given to homes on farmland

Clancutt Lane, Coppull where plans have been thrown out for affordable housing
Clancutt Lane, Coppull where plans have been thrown out for affordable housing

A planning Inspector has given the green-light to a developer to build 29 homes on a farmland in Coppull.

It all centres around the controversial site off Clancutt Lane where residents and local councillors battled plans successfully.

Applicants Redrock Limited appealed the decision and a public hearing took place on May 16 and was conducted by inspector David Morgan.

After listening to all sides he concluded: “The site will deliver a modest though much-needed element of affordable housing for which there is an acknowledged demand not just in Coppull but across the borough.

“Such provision, as the council acknowledges, in other circumstances merits being considered as ‘very special circumstances’ and so can reasonable be afforded considerable weight in favour of the proposals.”

Residents argued at the hearing about the increased traffic such a development would bring to the area.

But Mr Morgan said: “Clancutt Lane is reasonable narrow with unrestricted parking that may, on occasion, limit the otherwise freeflow of traffic along it.

“However, traffic levels in the lane at the time of my visits (4.30pm -5.15pm and 3pm to 4.15pm) were modest and with the anticipated additional numbers of traffic movements being small and in proportion to the number of units, no significant increased risk to highway users would result.”

Coun Matthew Crow, who represents the Coppull ward, said: “It is disappointing to see that the decision of the local and elected Development Control Committee has been disregarded by the Planning Inspectorate and that the view of local people and their representatives have been ignored.

“The government has spoken at length about the need to return decision making powers to local communities.

“But beyond the words are the deeds themselves which leave communities like mine feeling under consulted by people who have little local knowledge of the areas about which they make their judgments.

“Myself and the council have fought for the decision of the Development Control Committee to be upheld.

“I am very concerned to see in this instance that our decisions have been overturned by a removed Planning Inspectorate.”

Council bosses say they will have to wait for more detailed plans by Redrock Limited to be submitted.

However, they fear that it might set a precedent for more developers to appeal decisions.

Coun Dennis Edgerley, who oversees planning at Chorley Council, said: “We are disappointed because the site is safeguarded land, which the council doesn’t agree should be developed at this time.

“We have just received the inspector’s decision and are carefully considering it especially as we are concerned about what it might mean for similar sites.”