Mini estate in north west Preston given nod despite row

Coun Brian Rollo, planning committee chairman
Coun Brian Rollo, planning committee chairman
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A mini housing estate in north west Preston has been given the go-ahead, despite a row over cash owed by the man behind the plans.

Andrew Bradshaw submitted an application to build 12 homes at Lightfoot Lane, which had been recommended for approval by officers at Preston Council.

But a row broke out about highways contributions from Mr Bradshaw, which bosses said meant the plans should be refused.

Principal planning officer Natalie Beardsworth said: “The recommendation on the committee papers is minded to approve, subject to a section 106 agreement.

“The applicant has verbally confirmed he does not agree to that contribution, so the recommendation has changed to refusal.”

She said there were “no physical constraints” to the development of the site, but said: “The contribution towards major upgrades on the existing highway network is necessary to mitigate against increased traffic. Without it, county highways can’t support the proposal and it is therefore recommended for refusal.”

But Mr Bradshaw said he had already paid another financial contribution – the community infrastructure levy (CIL) - and had only just found out about the other payment.

But he said: “If I have to pay this money and it’s shown to me I have to pay it, I will.

“I’m passionate about Preston, I want to put money in. This money that I’m paying, I don’t mind paying it, I thought it was going to the market and the city centre.”

The meeting was told the development would at first be accessed by a new road from Lightfoot Lane, following the demolition of a property, which would later be re-built once the east-west link road was in operation.

Coun John Browne said: “Is it a good idea to pull down a perfectly decent property? This is crazy.”

Officers later changed the recommendation back to approval, subject to the payment.

Committee chair Coun Brian Rollo said: “The CIL money is what is used to fund the Preston Western Distributor Road, the 106 money is used to fund the spine road through the centre of it all.

There are two separate things the money is being spent on from two different places.”

The plans were approved, but powers were delegated to the city planning officer to refuse the plans if the 106 agreement couldn’t be met.