Over 500 new homes coming to South Ribble amid concerns over traffic flow

Work on up to 520 homes on a sprawling plot of land in South Ribble is set to begin early next year.

Thursday, 29th October 2020, 2:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th October 2020, 9:16 pm

The development, off Flensburg Way, will take shape over the next decade after South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee granted permission for the scheme.

Outline approval for 399 properties was given in 2016 – and councillors have now given the thumbs up to the fine detail of those plans, along with full permission for a further 121 homes across two other parts of the site. The area has been earmarked for development for seven years.

One of the two smaller parcels of land faces Croston Road and is bounded by Marks Avenue to the north, while the other is located at the eastern junction of Bannister Lane and Flensburg Way.

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Land off Flensburg Way is set for development (image: Google)

Andy Denton, head of land partnerships at Keepmote Homes – which is developing the site in conjunction with the government agency Homes England – said that the company not only wanted to start work at the earliest opportunity, but pledged to ensure “continued annual delivery”.

He also committed that 78 of the 96 properties in the ‘affordable homes’ category on the estate will be built during the early stages of the scheme.

South Ribble usually demands that 30 percent of a development is classed as affordable, but has agreed to exchange half of that proportion for a cash payment of £2.1m, which the authority can use to build such properties elsewhere in the borough.

However, Farington West ward councillor Karen Walton told the committee she was concerned that an access point onto Croston Road for one of the smaller developments could end up serving the entire estate – with drivers free to use it in preference to the primary entrance via a newly-installed spur off the tank roundabout.

“The potential increase in traffic on Croston Road would have a huge impact on existing residents in the area and would cause major congestion eastwards to Lostock Hall and Tardy Gate and west to the Tiger Junction traffic lights – even with all the improvements intended.

“The roads are already at a standstill at peak times,” Cllr Walton warned.

However, members were told that highways officers at Lancashire County Council had previously indicated during a separate application that the creation of a cul-de-sac that did not connect to the spine road through the estate would be contrary to the masterplan for the area. But Moss Lane will be closed off to prevent rat-running through to Croston Road – and there will be no access from the narrow route to the tank roundabout.

Meanwhile, committee member Mary Green called for the new development to have less obtrusive acoustic fencing running along Flensburg Way compared to the “eyesore” which has already been installed as part of a neighbouring estate.

“We need more greenery planting to soften the view…rather than having a stark wooden fence the length of the bypass, which I think would look awful when you’ve got the rural aspect on the other side of the road,” Cllr Green said.

Council planning officer Debbie Roberts said that areas of existing landscaping would remain alongside the fencing – but where no greenery currently exists, she suggested that fences alone would be installed.

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