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Protest takes place against Goosnargh housing plans

Posted on - 12th September, 2018 - 9:04am | Author - | Posted in - Campaigns, Housing, Preston News, Redevelopment

A friendly protest has taken place in Goosnargh to help send a message to landowners and developers.

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Members of the local community were invited to take part in the community awareness event on Saturday 8 September.

Organised by Goosnargh and Whittingham Against Overdevelopment group, the protest took place on Goosnargh Village Green from 2 – 4pm.

The event gave residents a chance to share information and support, along with with sending a message to landowners about the reaction  towards the land development taking place in the area.

This includes the planning of 140 new homes at Bushells Farm off Mill Lane in Goosnargh Village.

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More than 400 people have joined a Facebook group called ‘Goosnargh and Whittingham Against Overdevelopment’.

Organiser, Nicky Machin, said the event was in response to the recent influx of speculative planning applications that have ‘bombarded the village’. She said: “There has been no public consultation to speak of for any of these developments, and residents have been deliberately overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information relating to each. This event was a great opportunity to galvanise the community on this matter, and provide a hub to share ideas, support and advice on how to object to each of the many proposals threatening the area.

“It also served to send a message of defiance to the opportunistic developers who are clearly using exploitative tactics in order to gain planning permission on inappropriate greenfield sites and open countryside.

“We were absolutely blown away with the number of residents who attended the event, who are all very much in agreement that these plans simply must not go ahead. The event has also been praised by Whittingham Parish Council, which has also voiced strong opposition to the applications and is continuing to fight these plans.

“It is also extremely encouraging to now have the support of Security Minister and MP for Wyre and Preston North, Ben Wallace. In recent correspondence with Goosnargh and Whittingham Against Overdevelopment and many village residents, Mr Wallace has advised that he has submitted his own strong objections to each of the developments, and is currently pursuing this matter in great depth via all appropriate channels, including Central Government.”

Nicky stated that the group are in favour of development but in the correct way. She said: “We do however want to be absolutely clear that this is not a fight against ‘development’. Villages need development and growth to survive. We want ‘real’ affordable houses for our children to be able to buy in the future should they wish to.

“We want our children to have a diverse community with infrastructure to sustain a growing cultural community. This, unfortunately, is not what is proposed here in Goosnargh and Whittingham. In little over three weeks we have seen the submission of multiple extensive and major scale housing developments bombarding this small community and village area.

“These developments would have catastrophic impacts on the existing village, community and infrastructure. It is this that we object to. The proposals have been submitted without acknowledging the existing village in terms of its form, growth, grain, scale, infrastructure or architecture.”

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Nicky says the plans do not consider the historical patterns of the village growth. She continued: “Generic house types are laid out in a generic and arbitrary fashion with no regard to the existing and historical patterns of village growth but serve only to force a loss of the village form. It is this extreme profusion of speculative and inappropriate development in such a small area that we are fighting against in Goosnargh and Whittingham.

“The infrastructure and services to sustain these developments does not exist within the village nor the immediate wider context. Overdevelopment on this scale, in an isolated area, will have a devastating impact on services not only in the existing village community and core but will be highly destructive and damaging to the surrounding communities and beyond. It is these unsustainable and unfeasible schemes that we object to.”

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