The woman who represents the village of Broughton has claimed she had her ‘Erin Brockovich’ moment after appearing at a planning inquiry to object to hundreds of homes being built off Garstang Road.Advertisement
Pat Hastings, chair of Broughton Parish Council, gave evidence to a planning inspector.
She had been relying on Preston City Council to give their views alongside her in support of maintaining the objection to the development but they pulled out of the hearing on the second day.
This left Pat pitted against developers Hollins Strategic Land LLP and Wainhomes.
Keyfold Farm would see 130 homes built close to the Marriott Hotel to the south of the Broughton crossroads.
While a second housing development off Sand Gate Lane would have 97 homes built.
Read more: Housing plan for Broughton is back on the cards
Both schemes were rejected by the city council’s planning committee in May and June of last year – saying it risked Broughton merging with Fulwood and it was overdevelopment of the area.
However, following examination by a barrister acting for the developers, the city council conceded it could not demonstrate a five year land housing supply as wanted by central government.
Mrs Hastings said: “We have felt in a David and Goliath situation for this inquiry, with Goliath representing the planning system with its policies and legal precedents over shadowing the parish council’s David lacking armour in the shape of knowledge and process, but with the hope that our small stone may be able to penetrate the armour and slay Goliath.”
The hearing, which took place throughout the week of 5 February at the Town Hall, culminated in a site visit this week for the planning inspector to see the land in question.
He will now consider the evidence from both parties and deliver a decision in April on whether the objection to the two schemes should be upheld.
Read more: Preston reacts to three months of the Broughton Bypass being open
Director of planning at the city council Chris Hayward said: “Upon advice from our Barrister, we took the decision to end our participation in the public inquiry after conceding that we cannot currently demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing land, as required by Government policy.
“We continue to have concerns about the Government’s policy on housing land supply and the uncertainty this creates, even when there is a recently-adopted local plan in place. We feel that this undermines confidence in the planning system, a view which Preston City Council has already expressed to the Minister for Planning.”
What do you think about the housing developments in and around Broughton? Let us know your views in the comments below