Concern over Euxton affordable homes plan

Junction of Dunrobin Drive and Wigan Road, which locals say is already busy
Junction of Dunrobin Drive and Wigan Road, which locals say is already busy

A disgruntled resident described a decision to give the go-ahead to more the 50 new homes in Euxton as “a farce”.

The comments were made as more than a dozen locals filed out of a meeting of Chorley Council’s development control committee, where members approved the plans.

A total of 51 affordable properties are now set to be built on Dunrobin Drive – 25 of which will be for rent and the rest for shared ownership.

An earlier application to build 37 homes was withdrawn and replaced with the new, larger scheme.

But Euxton South ward councillor Gillian Sharples warned that the development risked eroding the “village character” of the area.

“Chorley meets its housing quota – and if we keep chipping away at beautiful green spaces in places such as Euxton, they’ll become overpopulated and will feel like a small town, which is not what people moved there for,” she told the committee.

Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle had also registered his concern about the overdevelopment of Euxton, but had not lodged a formal objection to the application.

Louise Leyland, representing applicants Mulbury Homes Limited and One Vision Housing, said the revised plan “delivers a higher number of smaller houses and is considered to utilise the site appropriately”.

Meanwhile, Chorley Council’s planning services manager, Adele Hayes, reminded members that the site had been allocated for housing under the authority’s local plan.

“This [development] is part of the five-year housing land supply which the council has to have – if these houses are not developed here, that supply would have to be sourced elsewhere.”

Concerns were also raised over the potential impact of the site on traffic in the area.

“Any incident on the M6 results in the A49 being congested. Queues of over a mile formed last week resulting in waiting times of 15 minutes to exit Dunrobin Drive onto Wigan Road,” local resident Linda Barron said.

Highways authority Lancashire County Council has proposed the marking out of a small island to accommodate right turning vehicles from Wigan Road into Dunrobin Drive, as well as the remarking of the mini-roundabout at the junction of the A49 with Dawbers Lane.

But committee member Martin Boardman was also worried over access to the site for construction traffic – which is planned to be located on Dunrobin Drive itself.

“Large vehicles will be going up and down during the 24 months of construction,” he said.

“A trailer with a drag will get down there, but there’ll hardly be any room either side.”

Members heard that a construction management plan will be submitted with full details of the way in which the work will be carried out – and will have to be seen by committee members before it is agreed.

Residents expressed concern over the potential for increased flooding as a result of the plans, but were told that the county council officers were content that the scheme would not worsen the current level of risk.

As the debate drew to a close, Cllr Christopher France said he wanted to “commend” the applicants for some of the positive aspects of their proposed development.

“They have provided every property with a garden, which is tremendous – and they have also retained an area of public open space,” Cllr France said.