Preston’s Guild Wheel being wrecked warns founder

Signs on D'Urton Lane in protest against 118 plans proposed by Charles Church
Signs on D'Urton Lane in protest against 118 plans proposed by Charles Church
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The co-founder of Preston’s award-winning Guild Wheel has accused planning chiefs of wrecking it with thousands of new homes.

Peter Ward, who won the MBE for his work on the 21-mile greenway, claims up to 10 housing developments proposed across the north of the city are destroying 15 years of “blood, sweat and tears” creating it.

This makes all the effort we made seem in vain. And it very much devalues the MBE which I was awarded because of the massive amount of work we did to get it up and running. I’m absolutely gutted.

Peter Ward

Peter, the “Mr Cycling” of Preston, failed with an impassioned plea to the planning committee to reject the latest application for 112 homes off D’Urton Lane despite the backing of a 10,000-name petition.

“To say we are devastated is an understatement,” he said. “It took 15 years to create the Guild Wheel and the council is wrecking it within three years.

“I thought all our councillors fully understood and appreciated what it brings to Preston. It is the legacy of the 2012 Guild.

“This makes all the effort we made seem in vain. And it very much devalues the MBE which I was awarded because of the massive amount of work we did to get it up and running. I’m absolutely gutted.”

The city’s planning committee also rejected overtures from Guild Wheel user Mrs Nicola Goodwill, a mother of three, and granted permission to Persimmon Homes to build 112 homes on the north side of D’Urton Lane where cyclists and walkers already have to compete with motorists.

“It is not an objection to housing development, I’m not a NIMBY,” insisted Nicola, who said she feared construction traffic would increase the danger for riders and pedestrians. “I am trying to protect the safety of people who use the iconic Guild Wheel.”

Kevin Farrington, of Persimmon Homes, said the company would provide an escort car to take an estimated 20 HGVs a day along D’Urton Lane at around 10 mph. “There is no intention to destroy the Guild Wheel,” he said.