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CPRE Lancashire says developer greed must not be put before community safety

Location plan showing the proximity of the affordable housing to the motorway Location plan showing the proximity of the affordable housing to the motorway

The Lancashire Branch of the Campaign to Protect England represented in opposition of Bellway’s appeal of a refusal decision by South Ribble Borough Council for its application to develop a site at Brindle Road.  Jackie Copley, the rural charity’s Planning Manager, highlighted how the application was contrary to both the National Planning Policy Framework (2012 and 2018 editions) and the Central Lancashire Core Strategy.

Jackie Copley, Planning Manager said: “The application fails to meet planning policy requirements over the lifetime of the development, due to a substandard layout that maximises profit, but cuts corners with public safety, promoting poor health and well-being to residents of affordable homes in too close proximity to the Motorway.”
South Ribble Council refused the application on 7 March 2018 citing key reasons for refusal as :
1.            Over-intensified form of development, contrary to National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF Paragraphs 9 and 56), Central Lancashire Core Strategy, Policy 17, and South Ribble Local Plan. 
2.            Eight affordable homes sited too close to the M61 resulting in unacceptable noise and air pollution, such that people would not be able to open bedroom windows at night.
3.            Affordable housing must be spread out throughout the housing area, and not be clustered in line with the Central Lancashire Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
CPRE Lancashire emphasised the application’s negative balance, with problems such as:
·         Inadequate acoustic mitigation, (recommended a substantial bund planted with the appropriate planting) forming a natural buffer/barrier between the homes for people and the motor vehicles generating noise and air pollution on the M61 motorway.
·         Travel routes for all modes need to be safer.  There is a real danger of causing future problems locally as the local road network isn’t adequate to cope with the volume of generated traffic.  Pedestrians must have safe footpaths, within the scheme and externally.  The case officer report referred to the application deficiencies on this issue.  The application is too road focused, bus services to the site are not frequent enough to promote regular bus use. 
·         As a minimum, if the appeal were to be allowed we would expect the viability assessment to be placed in the public domain, as it is in the public interest.  Enforceable planning conditions and contributions for 30% affordable housing, an on-site children’s play park, an adequate green buffer/bund, safe travel routes to, fro and around the site must be put in place.

CPRE Lancashire champions the planning system which operates to achieve an appropriate balance between the developer viability and the overall long terms sustainability of the community who will reside in the new homes provided.  Therefore, the commuted sum proposed to date is much too small a contribution.  There must be adequate contributions for community infrastructure.

CPRE Lancashire urged Martin Whitehead the appeal Inspector to rely on up to date housing figures when assessing the Council’s five year housing land supply, as it does have enough supply as required by Government, and to quash the Bellway appeal on the grounds it did not constitute a sustainable development.

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