Villagers step up fight to block executive houses

Enough: Resident David Thomas pleads with councillors to halt more development
Enough: Resident David Thomas pleads with councillors to halt more development
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Councillors will make a fact-finding visit to a Lancashire village which residents claim is being targeted by housebuilders.

Members of Preston Council’s planning committee have deferred an application for eight luxury detached homes in Grimsargh until they can see for themselves why more than 200 villagers have lodged objections.

If approved the plan, by Pringle Homes, would be the third recent “small scale” development by the company in Whittingham Lane. And locals believe it could “destroy the quintessential nature” of their rural lane.

One villager, who lives next door to the latest development site, told the committee: “These houses would be overbearing, obtrusive and out of character.” David Thomas appealed to members: “Please respect this and save the character of our much-loved village.” The planned development of executive homes - priced between £430,000 and £600,000 - is on the site of Whitefriars, a detached property with extensive gardens. Council officers recommended the plan should be passed, subject to a raft of conditions.

But in view of furious opposition from locals, committee members decided to delay a decision until they had visited the site which is opposite the Grimsargh village green and adjacent to a recently-built development called Silver Birches.

Coun Neil Cartwright said: “The unprecedented number of objections to this shows the strength of feeling. There is a very high level of concern. It will have the same access road and share services with Silver Birches. In fact it’s phase two of one scheme and the cumulative impact of the two sites together is very significant in the context of Goosnargh village.”