Campaigners have won their battle to stop urban Preston “marching across the countryside towards Grimsargh”.
Planning Inspector Isobel McCretton has thrown out an appeal by Hallam Land Management, over plans to build 143 houses on land to the north of The Hills estate off Longridge Road.
The original application was dismissed by Preston Council in May last year on the basis that the development would remove separating land between the village and Preston, and would damage the character of the area.
Coun Eileen Murray, chairman of Grimsargh Parish Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted.
“It’s a victory for the people and it shows that the planning system works.”
Following a lengthy inquiry into the case in January, Mrs McCretton judged that the development would go against Area of Separation (AOS) rules.
After saying that trees would buffer the view of the houses, Mrs McCretton added: “Towards the northern part of the appeal site the houses would be set much further back from the road with a managed landscaped area between.
“Nonetheless, it sees to me that there would still be a clear impression of development along that side of Longridge Road rather than open countryside which the AOS seeks to achieve.
“There would be little sense for people travelling from Preston of having left the built-up area of the city.
“The scheme is heavily reliant on the maintenance of the boundary hedge to create an illusion of openness and absence of development to the east.
“However that openness would, for the most part, be limited to one ‘field’.
“From the footpath the views southwards would be entirely enclosed by built development, albeit that its appearance may be softened by planting which would take some considerable time to mature to be effective.”
Coun Murray said: “It’s all come together and the inspector has made some very sensible points.”
“As a council we engaged with planning processes and looked at all of the options for development in Preston.
“Hallam’s solicitor is a very clever man, and we were a little worried about what the outcome might be, but the inspector was able to see through all of that and justice has been done.
“Really, pure logic would have told you that it was nonsense to try and build all of those houses on the narrowest gap between Preston and Grimsargh.”