Developer told for a third time that it cannot build houses in Chorley - yet

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A bid to build over 160 homes in Euxton has been refused – for the third time in as many years.

Developer Gladman first failed to secure planning permission for the proposed 165-home site between School Lane and Pear Tree Lane in 2016 – and then lost an appeal against that decision a year later.

Campaigners mobilised to stop the proposed development after it was put back on the table

Campaigners mobilised to stop the proposed development after it was put back on the table

The company submitted revised plans to Chorley Council earlier this year for 180 properties on the site, claiming that the authority would need them in order to meet its government housing targets for the borough. Thirty per cent of the properties were proposed to be in the “affirdable” bracket.

The site is categorised as “safeguarded land”, meaning that it may be released for development in future, but does not form part of the current local plan which dictates where housing may be built.

The latest refusal of permission was greeted with applause by more than two dozen locals who had gathered in the town hall to hear the council’s planning committee discuss the proposal.

Objecting to the application, Euxton resident Philip Preston said that there was no need for more new houses in the village.

“140 houses – 30 per cent of them affordable – have just been completed at Pear Tree Grange, not more than 50m away from this proposed development,” he told the committee.

Local representatives also lined up to condemn the application.

“The ink is hardly dry on the applicant’s recent unsuccessful appeal against the refusal of their initial application – and yet members of this committee are being asked to set aside the local plan and grant planning permission for a major housing development,” Euxton parish councillor Aidy Riggott said.

Chorley councillor Danny Gee, speaking on behalf of four other members, added that residents were “extremely annoyed that this proposal has been brought back again”.

But Gladman claimed that the ongoing process to draw up a new joint local plan across Central Lancashire meant that the existing policy was out of date – removing the safeguarded status of the land. In that case, the starting point for planners should be in favour of granting permission, unless the proposal would cause significant “adverse impacts”.

“The question is whether there is any harm that would significantly outweigh the benefits of the proposed development – chiefly the provision of…housing on a site which is already earmarked for future development, but also provision of open space, considerable economic benefits and contribution of almost £1m towards local primary school [places],” said Chris Lee, planning manager at Gladman.

But council officers said that the authority was compliant with the government requirement to demonstrate a five-year supply of land for housing – and that its policies were up-to-date.

“You’ve got to admire the applicant’s persistence – but that’s about all you can admire,” said committee member Alistair Morwood.

The application was unanimously opposed by the committee.