Housing plans could allay fears over wetland future

Grimsargh Wetlands
Grimsargh Wetlands
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Plans aimed at securing the future of a wetland nature area have been recommended for approval.

Villagers were left disappointed when an application to build 12 homes on land off Preston Road in Grimsargh was thrown out last year but it has now received a lifeline.

Applicant United Utilities (UU) applied to build the homes, which supporters said would have preserved former reservoirs, but the plans were thrown out in November last year by Preston Council’s planning committee over fears of a lack of affordable housing on site.

Now the re-submitted proposal is recommended for approval subject to a s106 agreement meaning UU agree to off-site affordable housing, education contributions, bus stop improvements and maintenance of open space.

Due to the large detached houses with large gardens being proposed it was thought that affordable housing wouldn’t fit in with “the character of the local area”. Therefore, if approved, the applicants would offer £210,672 towards off site affordable housing.

Bus stops will also be improved by building new shelters, raising kerbs and new road markings and more than £67,000 will be given to towards the provision of five primary school places.

Another requirement is to enhance and continue to manage the habitat at Grimsargh Reservoirs. This would include new footpaths, a viewing platform and educational boards.

The plans have the support of Wyre MP Ben Wallace and Grimsargh Parish Council, which would be given the means to maintain and improve Grimsargh Wetlands.

In November Lindsay Philipson, chairman of the parish council said the council were “crestfallen” with the plans being rejected.

But now she say explains why it’s so important it does get approved. She said: “We want to enhance the wetlands site and make it more accessible for everyone. If this doesn’t go through we don’t know what the future could hold for it so hopefully this time it will be approved by the committee.”

The plans will go before Preston City Council’s planning committee on Thursday, May 9 at 1.30pm.