Controversial homes plans are back on the agenda

The former Ridings Depot, Whittingham Road, Longridge
The former Ridings Depot, Whittingham Road, Longridge
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Plans relating to a controversial housing development are back on the table.

Permission was granted in 2014 for up to 220 homes, offices and residential apartments with care, at the former Ridings Depot and land to the north and south of Whittingham Road in Longridge.

The proposals were a revised submission of plans including up to 200 homes and a fitness facility and swimming pool, which were allowed on appeal earlier the same year.

Now the application is to return to Preston Council’s planning committee, this time in relation to affordable homes on the site.

Prospect (GB) Ltd has applied to remove a condition on the permission for the numbers and tenure of affordable housing, which will be discussed by councillors on Thursday.

The condition had required the development to provide 30 per cent affordable housing, with 70 per cent of that to be “affordable rented” and 30 per cent to be “intermediate housing”. But a report to councillors said the applicant had been in contact with registered providers to ask if they would be interested in taking on up to 66 affordable homes, of which 46 would potentially need to be made available for rent.

It said: “The responses received indicated an absence of demand from registered providers for the acquisition of up to 46 affordable dwellings for rent in this location.”

The applicant wants to remove the stipulation for 70 per cent of the affordable homes to be rented.

Julie Buttle, clerk to Whittingham Parish Council, said the group neither supported nor opposed the plans.

She said: “The parish council accepts 30 per cent need to be affordable, and we would like that to go to local people.”

The applicant also wants to vary a condition to amend sustainability standards. The plans are recommended for approval subject to conditions and a unilateral undertaking.

If that isn’t in place by January 22 without an agreed time extension, it is recommended that the director of development turns down the plans.

The report said: “The proposed removal of condition 7 and variation of condition 13 of the outline permission are considered acceptable.”