Plans for a housing scheme which one objector claimed would be ‘like a wart’ stuck on to his Fylde village have been thrown out by councillors.
But the fight over outline proposals for up to 30 homes, including nine for social rent, on a field off Kings Close, Staining, will rumble on, with landowner The Co-op Group appealing against the decision to reject the plans.
Parish councillors opposed the scheme and 34 objection letters were sent to planning authority Fylde Council.
The objectors are concerned about the over-development of the village, a shortage of school places and fears over the impact on traffic and drainage.
The council’s development management committee sympathised with local concerns, but planning officer Andrew Stell recommended approval of the scheme.
Councillors accepted that worries over drainage, highways and education would be hard to uphold because there had been no objections from United Utilities or Lancashire County Council.
But they still voted 14-2 to refuse permission due to the sheer scale and visual impact of the plans after hearing how new national planning guidelines could strengthen the council’s case at any appeal.
The council has a four and half year supply of new homes in the pipeline rather than the five years required by Government guidelines.
But new rules change the way the figure – currently 306 homes a year – is calculated.
Councillors also agreed they want to see feedback on new information which the Co-op claims shows there are not large numbers of protected great crested newts living nearby.
It is an offence to damage a great crested newt population or habitat and Lancashire County Ecology has previously raised concerns a survey had failed to show whether there were newts present.
Staining and Weeton ward Coun John Singleton (pictured below) told members: “I have concerns over the size of this development and expansion of Staining because we have already got Jones Homes building 72 new homes and this would not follow the natural line of the village.
“The village school has said it will struggle to take in the extra children and the £130,000 the Co-op has agreed to give the county council for education provision will not be enough to provide the buildings or staff needed to accommodate them.”
Coun Albert Pounder added: “When taken with the Jones Homes properties, the 11 new homes at Baines Fold and the five at Occupation Lane, the scale of this development is too big for this size of village.
“I fear this could be the first of several applications because we know the Co-op owns the land to the left of the site.”
After the meeting, objector Karen Bradley, of Windmill Close, said: “We are very pleased because we have fought long and hard over this and will do so again when the appeal goes in.
“This village dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 but if we don’t protect it will end up becoming a town.”
Confirming that an appeal will be lodged, a Co-op Estates spokesman said: “Naturally we are extremely disappointed not to get permission for the development, particularly after it was recommended for approval by officers.
“It is our continued belief that this is the right place for a development that is needed to remedy the council’s shortfall in housing on a sustainable site.”