Villagers warn new homes will add to traffic hold-ups

Hutton Grammar School from the proposed housing site

Hutton Grammar School from the proposed housing site

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Villagers fear traffic problems outside one of Lancashire’s oldest schools could get even worse if 46 new homes are built opposite the main gates.

Residents living near Hutton Grammar School say the road outside is already a bottleneck in the morning and afternoon, without the extra cars that a new estate will bring.

Many are expected to pack into South Ribble Council’s next planning committee on April 20 (6pm) to voice their concerns when the application by Maple Grove Developments is up for consideration.

“We know we can’t prevent homes being built there because that land is designated for housing in the Local Development Framework Plan,” said Tom Hastewell, chairman of Hutton Parish Council.

“But we have submitted an objection on the grounds of traffic and also flooding. Both are major problems and need addressing urgently, especially if we are going to get another 46 houses adding to it.”

Traffic hold-ups outside the historic grammar school - established in 1552, but first approved by Henry VIII in 1517 - have been a problem for years. Residents say parking restrictions imposed by South Ribble are largely ignored.

Now the parish council is calling for a loop/layby set back from the main carriageway where pupils can be dropped off and picked up. They also want a pelican crossing to further improve safety.

Improved drainage in the area is also being called for after problems with flooding - something which additional house building could make worse.

“We are hoping South Ribble listen to our concerns and take them into account,” said Tom Hastewell. “Hopefully we will get a good turnout at the planning meeting on the 20th.”

A supporting statement from the developer, submitted to South Ribble planners, says the site is located in “a sustainable location close to primary public transport links” and that the “new development complements the existing residential housing found to the east and west of the site.”