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Grimsargh village housing plans allowed under appeal but Preston City Council wants high court battle

Posted on - 24th May, 2016 - 5:19pm | Author - | Posted in - Grimsargh, Housing, News, Politics, Preston Council
A play area is shown within the Gladman Homes plans

A play area is shown within the Gladman Homes plans

Villagers on the edge of Preston are to see a high court legal battle played out over proposals to build 150 new homes.

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Gladman Homes has applied for the development of 150 new homes in Preston Road, Grimsargh, which was allowed under appeal by the Secretary of State.

But Preston City Council wants to fight the decision saying there are ‘errors’ in the calculations for the housing supply in Preston during the next five years.

Councillor Brian Rollo, who chairs the city council’s planning committee, said: “There were very good reasons for refusing planning permission at Preston Road, Grimsargh so we are disappointed that the Planning Inspectorate, acting for the Secretary of State, has allowed this development on appeal.

“The simple fact is we believe they’ve got it wrong and made an error in their calculations – especially about how many homes are being built over the next five years.

“There were strong local objections to the development and as the planning authority we shared those too. It’s basically building on open countryside, so if we don’t stand up and say somebody somewhere has made a mistake, then future planning controls in Preston could be affected.

“That’s why we’ve taken the unusual decision to seek the Court’s permission to challenge the Secretary of State. It’s important that we protect those areas that need protection against development, whilst also recognising the city needs to grow. We are confident we have got that balance right, certainly with the development at Preston Road, Grimsargh and look forward to making our case to the High Court.”

Artists impression of how the new Grimsargh development could look

Artists impression of how the new Grimsargh development could look

A high court battle is expected to cost the city council, which needs to make a further £4 million of savings by 2018, thousands of pounds in legal bills.

The Gladman scheme was rejected in March last year, and and a public inquiry was held in late January this year.

In a letter dated 9 May it was announced the Secretary of State had allowed the firm’s appeal. It stated the city council could not demonstrate a five year supply of housing, despite the North West Preston Masterplan being approved.

What do you think of the decision to appeal? Let us know your views in the comments below

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