Broughton Parish Council statement
In a statement to the Post members of Broughton Parish Council said:
"Broughton Parish Council has not taken this action lightly and is aware that nationally there is a need for more houses to be built in this country, but the situation is not the same all over the country. We are also aware that there is a need for affordable smaller properties for those people working in the parish, those who wish to downsize and those who wish to live where there are support networks.
"The rural parishes around North Preston are the target of a significant number of speculative developers applying for planning permission. These applications are on the agricultural land surrounding and near to the villages and against the current policies of Preston and Central Lancashire and in our area, Broughton, the Neighbourhood Development Plan.
"The NW Preston development area was a well-planned response to the housing needs in Preston and will eventually contribute over 5,000 properties to Preston’s allocated need. However, over the last three years a significant number of developments have been given the green light in the rural parishes. Broughton had 745 properties but by the time all the planning applications with permission are built this will be over 2,000, of which 500 are not in the NW Preston development area.
"This crisis has come about due to the inaccurate figures used to demonstrate the “land supply” presented by the city council’s planning department which only came to light during the Broughton Appeals in February 2018. This meant that Preston, based on the original dwelling targets of 507 per annum, agreed in 2012, cannot demonstrate a five-year Housing Land Supply (HLS). This fact has been seized upon by developer agencies to inundate the planning department with applications which the case officer’s support in their reports to the Planning Committee due to this inability to show an accurate HLS.
"The usual grounds for sensible decisions such as 'sustainability' and planning policies such as development in greenspaces have all been overruled by the inability to demonstrate a five-year HLS. As a direct result the planning committee of Preston City Council, even though it disagrees with many applications, has no option given their legal advice but to accept this situation and agree the applications. They are afraid to challenge this situation as the planners go to appeal which costs in money and resources.
"Broughton have a Neighbourhood Plan that meets the revised criteria clarified in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPFF) 2018, where the three year land supply rule can be applied, and the Planning Policy Officer states that the agreed 3.24 supply 'could be challenged by developers'.
"Last week when for the first time the council officers could use the revised criteria as the Broughton plan is now adopted, they decided to recommend approval. This site is one third in Broughton and two thirds in Whittingham - there was no precedent for split sites that was found before this meeting - so now there is a precedent that can be used nationally to challenge Neighbourhood plans."