Protestors block lane to object to proposals for new homes near Garstang

Pupil power has added to a protest over plans for new housing on a rural cul de sac near a local school and historic site on the outskirts of Garstang.

A rural Lancashire road was temporarily blocked after local residents and school pupils gathered to protest over an application for new housing.

Protest organiser Paul Osborn said there are great concerns about highway safety and the potential for future flooding caused by the proposed development off Castle Lane, at Bonds, on the outskirts of Garstang.

An application for outline planning permission for nine new homes on a .77 hectare green field site, part of which is subject to flooding, has been submitted to Wyre Borough Council.

The protest against the proposals for new homes off Castle Lane, on the outskirts of Garstang. Protest organiser Paul Osborn is pictured (sixth from right) in a high visibility jacket

The street protest on Castle Lane, which was also attended by Garstang Mayor Coun Alec Allan, took place last Saturday and last night an extraordinary meeting of Barnacre with Bonds Parish Council was held to discuss the application.

St Mary and St Michael Catholic Primary School is located on Castle Lane and the remains of centuries old Greenhalgh Castle are also located off the lane. Concerns have been raised in the past over the danger of the narrow lane, which has no pavements, for pupils and parents attending the school site.

Mr Osborn said there is a "blind bend" on the road and said: "The problem, is primarily due to the safety of children attending St Mary and St Michael's school which is at the head of the lane. All the construction traffic will have to go past the school to get to the site and the people that have to get to these large houses will have to go past the school. This is a narrow lane - there's very little warning of people approaching the entrance (to the school)."

He said there were also concerns about increases in flooding risks and that part of the hedgerow would have to be destroyed to access the potential building site. Mr Osborn raised cocnerns that traffic assessments carried out during the Covid period would not provide an accurate reflection of the usual road usage and traffic issues for pupils and staff at the school. and of the location of the assessment. He is also concerned that as the response period for objections is over the school holidays so many people who might be affected may not be aware of the application.

: St Mary and St Michael pupils Lewis, Lacey and Logan join the protest

Garstang Mayor Coun Alec Allan said: "I am concerned about the lane being so narrow and the listed buildings that are down there (Castle Lane)."

He said he had given his support to the protest because children from Garstang attend the school.

The application has been submitted by agents JWPC Ltd of Waterview, White Cross, Lancaster with the applicant named as Claire Cooney. In an accompanying statement the agents say the principle of development at the site is supported by policies in the Wyre Local Plan and it would be "sustainable development". Their statement says there "will be no adverse impacts in terms of ecology, trees, highways and flooding."

The statement acknowledges there is some flooding on the site but says "a retention pond has been proposed to promote biodiversity and improve the aesthetic look of the site. Surrounding this retention pond reed beds are proposed to promote ecological growth and provide further spillage storage for storms above the flood area."

The application for permission includes access to the site, with all other matters reserved. Numerous objections have already been submitted to Wyre Council about the proposals.

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