Housing development near Garstang gets thumbs up despite strong objections from parish council

A development of 80 new homes on the main A6 at Catterall has been given the go-ahead despite strong objections from the local parish council.

By Brian Ellis
Saturday, 15th January 2022, 11:26 am

Planners have approved the scheme even though an outline application for the land granted in 2017 was for just 66 homes and included a new medical centre, which has now been dropped.

Catterall Parish Council has told Wyre District Council that it is unhappy with the proposed development for a number of reasons, not least what it sees as a lack of infrastructure locally to support it.

In a letter to the district authority, the parish council says it accepts that this land is included in Wyre’s Local Plan and is allocated for housing.

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Part of the site at the junction of the A6 and Cock Robin Lane.

"Nevertheless, this is yet another development in a village which has already seen a significant number of new homes planned and already built without any of the corresponding infrastructure required to accommodate this large influx of new residents," says Gillian Benson, clerk to the parish council.

Access from the A6 is a problem, says the letter, along with the development's impact on local health services, its impact on energy provision in the area and other problems which the parish council can foresee.

On school places, the council says: "The nearest school for our primary age children is Kirkland and Catterall St. Helen's Church of England Primary School, but the school is struggling for classroom space.

"Whilst Lancashire County Council may feel it appropriate to allocate our children a place in a school further away, St Helen’s is our local school, and we need the County Council to make the necessary improvements at the school.

The development will swallow up three fields and a number of farm buildings.

"Whilst building work would take some time, there are interim alterations which could be made to the inside of the building which could create much needed classroom space. This could be achieved from a commuted sum from the developer – we suggest £100,000.

"We feel that it is important for our local primary school to benefit rather than other schools as it has its own school transport and does not, therefore, rely on parents having to use their vehicles to take children to schools further away and putting additional vehicle journeys onto already busy roads and adding to the area’s carbon footprint.

"With the increase in the child population, the need for nursery provision and pre-school facilities will also increase."

On the question of health provision, the council says: "When local residents viewed the previous application for 66 homes and a medical centre, they were clear that they would not object to the additional homes if they came with a village medical centre.

"Whilst the medical centre at Garstang provides an excellent service, parking can be difficult and there is no bus service to the medical centre.

"This application now removes the originally proposed medical centre and replaces it with an additional 14 houses. We would want to see an assurance that Garstang Medical Centre can accommodate the residents from these new properties as well as those from all the other new builds in the area."

The parish council has concerns about another 80 houses putting a strain on the power supply in an area hit by "several electricity power outages recently."

And it says the provision of affordable homes in the scheme - 24 out of 80 dwellings - is "over intensive for the size of the land allocated."

Anwyl Homes plans to build a mix of two, three and four bedroom houses on the site with a primary access off the A6 and a secondary access from Daniel Fold Lane.

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