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Plans for controversial Goosnargh estate changed under new developer

Posted on - 18th February, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Housing, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
Swainson Farm
Swainson Farm

The house types planned for a controversial estate in rural Preston have been changed after a new developer took over the scheme.

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McDermott Homes Ltd. has been given the green light for revised plans to those originally approved for land at Swainson Farm in Goosnargh.

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Preston City Council initially refused permission for a proposal to build 40 properties on the Goosnargh Lane plot four years ago.  However, a planning inspector later overturned that decision on appeal and, last February, the authority gave the green light to the layout and design of the development that it had previously attempted to block.

Read more: Snail farm claims over former BHS store in Preston city centre

At that point, the project was set to be delivered by Duchy Homes, but, almost 12 months on, the city council’s planning committee was asked to consider Accrington-based McDermott Homes’ vision for the site.

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A report by town hall planning officials revealed that all 11 previously-approved house types would all be replaced under the revamp.  However, they will remain in the same styles and categories as those previously approved, with detached, semi-detached and terrace properties all on offer.

Eleven five-bed and 15 two-bed homes will be made available at full market value. Meanwhile, eight three-bed and six two-bed dwellings will make up the affordable housing quota for the site.

While the layout will generally remain the same, the three ‘clusters’ of affordable homes previously proposed will be reduced to two – although the overall volume of properties falling into that category is unchanged.

The committee heard that affordable housing providers prefer to have the homes for which they are responsible located “closer together for management and maintenance purposes”  However, council planning officers concluded that the discounted dwellings would still be adequately scattered – or “pepper-potted” – when considered alongside a neighbouring scheme on the south side of Goosnargh Lane which is being delivered by the same developer.

The other main change to the original blueprint will see the previously-proposed private driveways to serve eight of the properties removed.  Those homes will now be accessed directly from Goosnargh Lane, which the council deemed would improve the layout – because it mirrors the arrangements for other properties nearby.

The revised proposal was approved unanimously by the committee, with little debate.

The Swainson Farm scheme was one of six proposed developments in and around Goosnargh which was rejected by the city council in early 2020, after it concluded their “cumulative impact” would have negatively affected the character of the village, had they all gone ahead.

Government-appointed planning inspector George Baird dismissed all of the subsequent appeals against those refusals – except the one for 40 homes on Swainson Farm.  Amongst the appeals he rejected was a bid to build 87 homes on another part of the same farm plot.

Mr. Baird said that the smaller estate would replace agricultural buildings whose scale and condition caused them to have “a major negative visual effect on the area”, while the proposed properties – in a suitably landscaped setting – would result in “a positive improvement to the village approach”.

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