‘Sprawl’ fears for Barton homes plan

Traffic concerns: Coun Ken Hudson
Traffic concerns: Coun Ken Hudson
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Controversial proposals to create new homes at a village near Preston look set to be decided by a planning inspector.

Development company Hollins Strategic Land wants to build up to 65 new homes on land off Forest Grove in Barton.

More than 280 residents and Barton Parish Council have written to Preston Council to object to the scheme, amid concerns about the impact on the countryside, extra traffic and the size of the development.

Planners asked councillors on the planning committee to refuse the outline application - but the decision may be taken out of their hands after the plans were not dealt with quickly enough.

Developers have referred the proposals to the Planning Inspectorate after they were not determined within the 13-week target set by the Government. They are waiting to hear if an appeal has been confirmed.

The planning committee will still vote on the application on March 4 as the council gears up for an appeal.

Planning chief Chris Haywood has advised them in a new report: “The proposed development would lead to a disproportionate expansion of a rural village.

“It would lead to the substantial loss of a tract of open countryside that forms an attractive edge to the rural village of Barton, creating a sprawl of development into the countryside and a new built-up edge which would significantly detract from the rural character of the village. Additional traffic generated by the proposal would lead to a further deterioration in the existing extreme conditions at Broughton crossroads.”

Preston Rural North Coun Ken Hudson echoed concerns the scheme would cause further congestion at Broughton.

Hollins, a development company which secures planning permission for sites before selling them to housebuilders, said its 30 affordable homes would meet Barton’s affordable housing needs for the next five years.

A Preston Council spokesman said: “The applicant has the right to apply to the Inspectorate for non-determination.”