Frustration from councillors in Broughton after unpopular housing development tipped for approval in on-going planning row

Chairman of Broughton Parish Council Pat Hastings (centre) at the referendum where the Neighbourhood Plan for the village was passed
Chairman of Broughton Parish Council Pat Hastings (centre) at the referendum where the Neighbourhood Plan for the village was passed
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Politicians in Broughton are at the end of their tether after an unpopular housing development has been tipped for approval.

The village parish council is angry with planning officers at Preston City Council for recommending councillors to give a build for 95 homes off Garstang Road the green light.

It comes as PCC’s interim chief executive Adrian Phillips has asked Broughton Parish Council to withdraw its declaration of “no confidence” which it had previously lodged against the city’s planning department.

Councillors at Broughton Parish Council had introduced a Neighbourhood Plan towards the end of 2018 in order to have a say on the housing that comes to the area.

But when members of PCC granted permission for a build for 111 homes split between Broughton and Whittingham in January Broughton decided to show their displeasure, voting for the motion of “no confidence”.

Now, after officers have recommended to councillors that a second development is given the go-ahead, they are wondering what the purpose of the Neighbourhood Plan was.

Chairman of the parish authority Pat Hastings said: “How can we protect this village? We had written the Neighbourhood Plan to protect it.

“Why did we bother doing it - what’s the use?

“We were told it was the best way to get developments only where they were really needed.

“They should be looking at it. They should be trying to support us.

“We want to sort this out and we want the plan to be respected. We can’t step back now. We don’t like what’s going on.”

Pointing to the “no confidence” vote Pat added: “If anything this has emphasised what we have said.”

Chris Hayward, director of development at PCC said: “A neighbourhood plan is a way of helping local communities to influence the planning of their area and to help ensure development is sympathetic to the surrounding area and meets the needs of the local community.

“However, the Government is very clear that neighbourhood plans cannot be used to simply stop development, given the Government’s commitment to significantly increasing the supply of new housing across the country. This means that when considering planning applications for areas subject to a neighbourhood plan, consideration must be given to all relevant matters – including national policy – before making a decision.

“I cannot comment on this specific situation as it relates to an active planning application, however the reasoning behind the officers’ recommendation is set out in detail in the committee report. Ultimately though, the decision is made by the Council’s Planning Committee.”

Proposals for the 95 homes have been put forward by applicant Gladman Developments. They will come before councillors at a planning meeting at Town Hall in Lancaster Road, Preston on Tuesday, March 5.