Decision day for disputed housing plan in Broughton

A planning overview of the site
A planning overview of the site

Decision day is approaching for a planning bid in an area of north Preston that has become a hotbed of controversial housing applications.

Emery Planning has applied for outline permission for up to 101 houses off Whittingham Lane in Broughton.

The bid, which is for access only at this stage, will go before the city council’s planning committee next month.

It has attracted several objections and sits within the wider Barton and Broughton area that has housing bids awaiting the decision of an independent inspector.

READ MORE: Housing bid in rural Preston heading for appeal

Officers say planning permission can be granted in this case if the developers agree section 106 payments relating to affordable housing, maintenance of open spaces and school places contributions. Council documents reveal a contribution is sought for 38 primary school places, a total of more than £540k.

Whittingham Parish Council has objected, highlighting that the same site – although with a different entry point – was subject to a previous bid that was refused by the council and upheld by an inspector.

Objections have also been received from 19 separate households citing numerous concerns including that the bid “brushes aside” the Broughton neighbourhood plan.

Coun Lona Smith, Conservative member for Preston Rural North, has voiced concerns, highlighting that parts of the former site of Whittingham Hospital are still to be developed “which already has planning permission to satisfy local needs.”

The bid will be determined as the council awaits the decision of two housing appeals relating to applications in the Barton and Broughton area.

Entrance to the site would be created through the demolition of property 126a Whittingham Lane.

READ MORE: Inquiry that could change region's planning focus

The inspector’s decision on whether the council can demonstrate a five-year housing supply could have an impact on future decisions, such as this bid in Broughton, across the city region.

Although officers identify in this case that the site is “contrary” to the city’s core strategy and local plan, the report states that “the development would make a sound contribution to increasing the council’s supply of housing.”

The planning committee will meet on April 5 at the town hall.