Twelves new homes due to lead to the preservation of a ‘haven for wildlife’ in Grimsargh are set for approval.Advertisement
Previously rejected by Preston City Council the proposal from United Utilities sees a section of the Wetlands built on, at Preston Road, to fund the creation and upkeep of the nature reserve.
The Wetlands would then pass to Grimsargh Parish Council to safekeeping, and they say there is strong local support for the proposal.
In a statement they say: “The Parish Council has been working closely with the applicant with the aspiration of preserving the former Grimsargh Reservoirs in perpetuity for the local community, negotiating what is felt to be a minimal amount of ‘infill’ development in exchange for the handover of a Biological Heritage Site, which will be further developed to provide an invaluable haven for wildlife and a community asset”.
The previous plans by the water firm, who currently own the land, were rejected as they did not meet the affordable housing quote.
Related: Curlew numbers rise at Wetlands as planning appeal lodged
United Utilities has said it will settle a payment with the city council to fund affordable housing elsewhere in return for planning permission. It would also avoid a costly planning appeal process which is due to begin in late June after the water firm appealed the original decision.
Ben Wallace MP for Wyre and Preston North has written in support of the plans.
He says the development would be ‘in keeping with the character of the village’ and he goes on to note Lancashire County Council has not raised any issues.
More than 50 letters of support for the Wetlands plans have been received by the city council from nearby residents.
However, nine objections have been received saying the 12 homes would ‘impact upon the character and appearance of the village, overdeveloping this area’.
Related: Grimsargh village housing plans allowed under appeal but Preston City Council to take decision to High Court
Planning officers have recommended the scheme for approval stating ‘on balance it is considered that the relatively small scale nature of the proposal, the siting of the proposed properties between existing dwellings and the above benefits outweigh non-compliance with the development plan in this instance.’
They’ve set a time limit to agree a Section 106 agreement – funding new affordable homes elsewhere – of Wednesday 15 June if the plans are approved.
Councillors on the city council’s planning committee meet on Thursday 9 June from 1.30pm at the Town Hall to discuss the plans.
Do you live in the area? What do you think of the proposals? Let us know in the comments below