Lancashire firms team up for homes plan

GRAND PLANS: From left: Stephen Forshaw, Bill Monks and Neil Forshaw at the proposed site

GRAND PLANS: From left: Stephen Forshaw, Bill Monks and Neil Forshaw at the proposed site

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Two Lancashire businesses have joined forces and appointed planning experts to help them bring together a major new homes development.

The partners plan to develop a site on the southern outskirts of Longridge, near Preston, which they believe could provide a solution to the housing challenge facing the community.

Local building company W Monks and S & N Forshaw say the 20-hectare Grimbaldeston Farm site off Preston Road could play a key role in meeting the future residential needs of the town.

They have appointed two planning experts to look at the potential for the site: Preston-based PWA Planning and Lancaster-based JWPC.

The consortium believes the site could provide between 250 and 400 new homes, including much-needed houses for first time buyers and retirement homes.

But the plan may run into opposition, with the mayor of Longridge saying he was “appalled” at yet another housing scheme being planned.

The consultants have held discussions with Ribble Valley Council planners and have also opened negotiations with an un-named house-builder to develop the plans further.

Paul Walton, director of PWA Planning, said: “The landowners have been promoting the area as a suitable and sustainable location for development through the development plan process.

“The Core Strategy, as it emerges, provides for increased numbers of new houses in Longridge during the plan period, and we believe this site has considerable merit in meeting these needs.”

Bill Monks, one of the trustees for part of the land, said: “We know there are alternative development sites being promoted in other parts of the town.

“We want to be certain our site is not disregarded as we believe it would be the most suitable site to meet future development needs.”

Longridge mayor Coun Chris Parkinson said : “It is adding insult to injury to the people of Longridge who are already struggling to understand the scale of development plans we are faced with. They have reached 1,700 properties if you include the second phase at Dilworth. How can we cope with another 200-400?”