Employment area earmarked for housing

Employment area at Ascalon, Gill Lane, Longton
Employment area at Ascalon, Gill Lane, Longton
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A councillor has revealed plans to turn an employment area at the back of his home into a housing estate.

Coun Peter Stettner, a member of South Ribble Council’s the planning committee, has submitted a bid for a new access road through a field to land at the rear of Ascalon in Gill Lane, Longton.

If passed, then a formal application for a residential development will be made, though the number of houses has not yet been decided.

The former poultry farm was converted into an employment area in the 1990s and currently has 16 units, occupied by businesses including a builder’s yard, vehicle body and repairs and a book storage business.

Longton Parish Council has objected to the outline proposal, claiming it will lead to a loss of local job opportunities and the housing development would be in a flood zone.

A neighbour has raised concerns about the movement of highway structures, flood risks, nearby trees and access gates.

In a report to the council, Coun Stettner’s agent states: “The buildings have come to the end of their useful life, are poorly insulated and suffer from damp to some degree.”

They add: “The site is not a high quality employment area and that there is a limited demand for poor quality buildings which are inadequately accessed and available only on a month by month basis.”

Council officers have recommended that the access application is approved. Despite the proposed access road cutting across Green Belt it is deemed “balanced” because relocating site access would improve the current access to the roundabout with Liverpool Road.

Coun Stettner cannot take part in planning decisions.