PLANS for the first phase of a tram project in Preston have been given another chance.
An application by Trampower Ltd to re-open a former railway line in Deepdale looked set to be derailed, following a recommendation for refusal by officers.
But members of Preston Council planning committee voted to defer a decision to wait for more information, after telling Trampower: “We want to say yes”.
Planning officers had recommended councillors to reject the plans, because of “insufficient information” on the impact to highways, pedestrian and passenger safety, and also on biodiversity and habitats.
But Professor Lewis Lesley of Trampower urged the committee to support “sustainable development”.
He said the firm was confident of raising £25m for the whole project, and said: “A lot of the discussions this morning were about traffic. This is one of the few applications which is going to reduce traffic.”
Plans include constructing a station platform building and putting up masts and cables, as well as re-instating the former railway line.
Coun Tom Davies said: “It’s about time we passed this and let’s see what happens, because until they get planning permission they can’t do anything. Let’s get this passed and let’s get on with it and see what happens.”
Councillors were advised to defer a decision, to allow time for more information to be submitted.
Coun Elizabeth Atkins, addressing Trampower, said: “It must be clear to you that, really, there’s a lot of positive feeling and we would like to say yes. So I’m asking you, please, if you can, get this information to Preston Council as soon as you can and then we can do what we wanted to do today.”