Councillors were reluctant as they passed a controversial development for 151 homes to the North of Preston.
Expressing their frustration, many said they felt that their hands were tied as they gave permission in principle for the houses to be built at land at Cardwell Farm in Garstang Road, Barton.
Speaking at Preston’s planning development meeting, Coun Peter Moss said: “We are not in this position of having to make a decision on such a site as this because we want to.
“It is contrary to Preston City Council planning policies.”
He added that the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework “ensures that our policies are outweighed”.
Because Preston City Council cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of houses Government policy, which tilts in favour of approving builds if there is no ‘significant or demonstrated’ adverse impact of the proposals, takes precedence over Preston’s local planning policy.
Since statutory bodies such as County Highways or Education, which were consulted over the plans, did not raise any evidence to say the plans would “significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits” councillors had no basis with which to block the plans from Wainhomes.
Debating the problem coun Jennifer Mein said: “There are no valid reasons why we should turn it down.”
Coun David Borrow explained out that, coupled with the thought of having to face a costly appeal process on the application if they turned it down, councillors were “in between a rock and a hard place” .
He added that members of the committee “must take responsibility” for the decision despite not liking it.
“None of us like it because it goes against the local plan,” he said. “You need to accept these obligations rather than shouting from the sidelines.“