Homes on former school site given the nod at appeal

The site of a former special school is to be transformed into a development of 20 homes, after a decision by councillors was overturned at appeal.

Land around the former Golden Hill School on Cromwell Road, Ribbleton
Land around the former Golden Hill School on Cromwell Road, Ribbleton

Plans had been thrown out for the homes at the former Golden Hill School in Cromwell Road, Preston, against the advice of officers at Preston Council.

Councillors had raised fears over issues including a lack of affordable homes and the loss of trees, but decided in a behind-closed-doors meeting not to defend the reasons for refusal at the appeal.

The appeal was allowed for the plans, which include 14 homes accessed from Cromwell Road, and six homes with private drives from Hamilton Road.

A report to Preston Council’s planning committee said: “The inspector considered that the proposal would result in only the removal of around 10 protected trees of moderate to low value and that the majority of high value trees would be retained with the addition of comprehensive landscaping including around 39 extra heavy standard trees.”

It said the inspector found affordable housing would not be required, and said: “The inspector noted the findings in the viability report and noted that the council’s head of property had accepted these (that the development would be unviable if affordable housing was to be required).”

It said: “The inspector did not support neighbouring concerns in relation to impact upon residential amenity by reason of impact on privacy, daylighting or disturbance from construction noise and that appropriate conditions would provide mitigation (in relation to noise).”

The inspector found the plans were acceptable, subject to conditions.