Preston planning officers say they want controversial Goosnargh plans passed

An impression of what the homes would look like in Goosnargh.
An impression of what the homes would look like in Goosnargh.
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An agricultural field at Goosnargh could soon be turned into a development with almost three-quarters of its housing affordable, if councillors agree with planning officers.

Officers at Preston want city councillors to pass plans for 93 new homes on 3.2 hectares of land north of Goosnargh Lane at their planning meeting tomorrow, subject to a 106 agreement and conditions.

Seddon RDP Ltd with Contour Housing Ltd have applied to build a mix of two, three and four bedroom detached and semi-detached houses with 28 open market homes and 65 affordable ones, 17 of would be single storey and 76 two storeys on the land at the rear of Holme Fell, opposite the village green.

But councillors will hear there have been 154 objections to the development, some of which include it being out of keeping and unsympathetic to the location; it is not small scale or in-fill; is prime agricultural land; there would be flooding due to existing issues; it is not sustainable; there is no employment close by; lack of parking, highway safety, congestion and fears the network will not cope; schools, doctors surgeries etc would not cope and the habitat of protected species being destroyed.

Wyre and Preston North MP Ben Wallace is supporting an objector and further objections have been raised by Goosnargh and Whittingham parish councils, Preston Rural North councillor Lona Smith and LCC highways.

But there are 35 letters supporting the development, saying Preston needs affordable housing and the development would particularly benefit families and young people and those unable to get on the housing ladder, also keeping people in the area who currently live with their families in the village.

But officers say there is “an identified need for affordable housing in the rural areas of Preston” and have “carefully considered” opinion.

But while the development was contrary to various policies and a policy of the Local Plan “the visual harm that would be caused to the rural character of the land would in this case be outweighed by other material planning considerations”.