Disputed plans to return to the table

Angry: Julie Buttle
Angry: Julie Buttle
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Controversial plans relating to homes in North West Preston are to come back before councillors for a fourth time, despite already being rejected.

Plans from CEG Land Promotions to change the access to a development to the north of Hoyles Lane have already been thrown out twice, but are due to return to the table over a “lack of clarity” on the latest decision.

The proposals are also subject to an appeal, and a secret meeting held in June decided the reasons for refusal would not be contested at that appeal.

CEG had applied to change a condition of approved plans for up to 350 homes to the north of Hoyles Lane and to the east of Sidgreaves Lane.

The company wanted to allow the first phases of development to access the site from Hoyles Lane, rather than Sidgreaves Lane as originally intended. The latest planning meeting again voted to reject the plans, against officers’ recommendations, but they will return to the next meeting.

A council spokesman said: “The council’s view is that the vote was taken correctly. However, we acknowledge that there were interruptions during the vote which may have led to a lack of clarity for those observing the proceedings.

“Due to the circumstances consultation was held with the chair of the committee and representatives of the parties, with the result being that the council intends to report the application back to the next available planning committee meeting. The date and confirmation of this will be published in the agenda on September 1.”

Former city councillor Julie Buttle said: “Members clearly voted to go against the officer recommendation for approval - but because this was followed by a second vote to refuse the application - CEG has questioned whether members had clarity on what they were voting for. If I was a member of the planning committee I would find this deeply insulting!”

Councillors faced criticism at last week’s full council meeting from Liberal Democrat councillor Jason Jeffrey, for the “behind-closed-doors” meeting, and for deciding not to defend the decision at appeal.

Coun John Swindells said: “We take the best legal advice we can when we face challenges. We might be seeing a planning application come back from the last planning committee, but that’s based on the best legal advice you can get, and previously that was based on legal advice as well.”