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Parish councils object to “inappropriate” development of former Whittingham Mental Hospital

Posted on - 25th January, 2014 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Broughton, Grimsargh, Housing, News, Redevelopment
The buildings at Whittingham have been boarded up for years

The buildings at Whittingham have been boarded up for years

Two parish councils have decided to object to plans to demolish the former Whittingham Mental Asylum.

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The former hospital is earmarked to become hundreds of new homes but parish councillors worry the strain the increased population will place on the surrounding roads.

Whittingham Parish Council said the scale of the development is “inappropriate”.

A statement from the council said: “As the application has been approved in outline, the main objection of the Parish Council relates to the long term management of the sports and leisure facilities.

“Attention is drawn to paragraph 34 of the S106 agreement dated the 7th August 2008 which states prior to the commencement of the development, a Community Liaison Group shall be set up and its members will prepare a proposal relating to the ownership, management and operation of the community facilities.

“The Parish Council has not been approached regarding the above proposals and is extremely concerned that paragraph 4.10 of the Phasing and Delivery Schedule states it is envisaged that the existing Community Facilities will either be incorporated within the new Community Trust or transferred to the Parish Council or a suitable management company and that provision is made within the refurbished St John’s Church.

“Given that St John’s Church is a listed building the maintenance costs could be prohibitive and Members felt strongly that an agreement should be reached before the commencement of any development as stated in the original S106 document. Concern was also expressed that the proposed community facilities merely replace the existing facilities and it was felt that the provision should be increased given the addition of 650 new properties.”

The Homes and Communities Agency who own the site said it was a “complex” project.

Work could start in summer 2014 but it will take ten years to complete.

Broughton Parish Council also oppose the application, saying the Broughton bypass must be completed before the scheme goes ahead.

Councillor Peter Moss said: “A full Broughton Bypass has been desperately needed for decades. For at least 30 years the need to rid the village of the horrendous traffic problems has been recognised. A full bypass will also make better connections to the wider road network, with benefits for development and economic growth in the wider area.

“Broughton Parish Council has been consistent in its approach to all planning applications that may have a detrimental affect on the traffic conditions in Broughton, namely that; “no development, (especially one a large as Whittingham) that will add to the problems at Broughton should be approved or commenced without Broughton Bypass first being completed.”

The plans for the site are currently with Preston City Council and are due to be discussed by the planning committee on Monday 3 February.

Councillors have been recommended to approve the resubmission of the plans.

On Thursday the Lancashire Evening Post reported Taylor Wimpey, the developer who would take on the project, could quit as the chosen developer for the site claiming it was too large a development.

Whittingham in the meantime has become a popular spot for urban explorers as the buildings stand dormant.

You can view the full plans for Whittingham on the council website.

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