Tram plan set to be derailed

Vision: An artists' impression of how a tram stop on Deepdale Street, Preston, could look

Vision: An artists' impression of how a tram stop on Deepdale Street, Preston, could look

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Plans for the first phase of a project to build a tram line in Preston look set to be derailed after council chiefs said the plan should be thrown out.

Trampower Ltd has submitted plans to reopen a former railway line in the Deepdale area of the city.

The firm wants to reopen a stretch of the former railway line between the coal yard off Deepdale Street and the rear of St Chads Road.

The plans also include putting up masts and overhead cables, the construction of station platform building, a tram shed/storage building and 2.4m high fencing and gates.

The application deferred at a meeting held in November, where it had been recommended for refusal.

But planning documents due before a meeting of Preston Council’s planning committee on Monday January 12 recommend that the plans are refused.

Officers say the principle of the proposed tramway would not conflict with the land-use policies for the site within the adopted Preston Local Plan.

But the report adds: “Insufficient information has been submitted to demonstrate that the proposal would not have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the strategic and local highway network and upon the safety of pedestrians and passengers.

“Insufficient noise impact assessment information has been submitted to demonstrate that the proposed development would not have any unacceptable adverse impacts upon the amenities of neighbouring residents.”

A business plan which was first submitted in 2012 states the tram line would cost £23m to build and there would be 15 stops along the route.

The route would be 6.5km and the peak service would see one tram every six minutes and they would run from the city centre to the park and ride at Bluebell Way in Fulwood.

Previously an application was submitted and validated for the tram line to run up Church Street and Fishergate towards the train station.

Lewis Lesley, of Trampower Ltd, said a report relating to Deepdale Mill Street and three noise impact reports have been submitted.

He added: “I fail to understand the position of the council on this.

“I don’t know what will happen, when it was on the agenda in November the councillors wanted to approve it.”

When the plans were recommended for refusal in November it was because officers said “insufficient information has been submitted to demonstrate that the proposed development would not have amy adverse impacts upon biodiversity and habitats, with particular reference to great crested newts and slow worm populations.”