Plans for almost two dozen new industrial, storage and office units in Leyland have been thrown out by councillors who said the firm behind them had left concerns about road safety, flood risk and loss of trees completely unanswered.Advertisement
South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee took less than ten minutes to reject the proposed development on land within the Moss Side Industrial Estate.
Norlec Sheet Metal Ltd. had made a bid to build 22 new premises on a corner plot at the junction of Bison Place and Titan Way.
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However, committee members were told that highways issues which had been brought to the attention of the applicant had not been addressed, while crucial information about drainage and the quality – and even the number – of trees to be removed as part of the scheme was never submitted in the first place.
The meeting at which the matter was discussed on 1st February heard that the company had had four months to respond to the various concerns. However, the council had not been notified until the day of the committee – by the agent for the application – that the outstanding details would be provided by the week of 12th February.
Council planning officer Chris Sowerby said members had the option of deferring their decision on that basis or rejecting the proposal outright – and the consensus was clearly in favour of refusal.
Addressing the committee, Moss Side ward councillor Michael Green said it was rare for an application to reach the decision-making stage “in this state” and with “so many missing pieces of information”.
He accused the applicant of waiting until “one minute to midnight” to engage with the authority, adding: “For them to actually come forward on the day of the committee and say that, all of a sudden, they’re going to provide this information…is wholly unacceptable to the council.”
Committee member Colin Sharples said he was “absolutely gobsmacked” at what the authority had been asked to consider.
His colleague, Haydn Williams, said that there was “that much wrong” with the application, there was no guarantee it would pass muster even if the committee waited until the requested details had been received.
Summing up the sentiment in the room, Cllr Williams said: “I’d say refuse it as it is [and] start again.”
Neither the applicant nor the agent made any representations to the committee.
As part of the proposed development, an upgraded access onto Bison Place and an entirely new access onto Titan Way had been suggested.
However, Lancashire County Council highways officials raised concerns that the new junction with Titan Way did not meet “junction spacing standards” – because it would be too close to the existing access for nearby Osprey Place. Visibility issues were also highlighted.
County Hall also said that the internal footpaths within the development were “not of sufficient width to be classed as being compliant with inclusive mobility”, while it considered that a lack of information about the specific uses of the planned units made it difficult to assess whether the 57 parking spaces proposed were sufficient.
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