Fylde’s 500 houses a year target

Fylde Town Hall
Fylde Town Hall
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NEARLY 500 new homes will have to be built each year to meet Whitehall targets.

An audit into how many housing developments have planning permission in Fylde shows Fylde Council must approve an average of 489 houses a year to meet the Government’s five-year housing supply plan.

The council has so far only approved applications for just under a four-year supply, and must approve a further 2,446 homes.

Without the five years’ supply in the pipeline, the council will find it harder to defend appeals by developers to the Planning Inspectorate.

Coun Trevor Fiddler, cabinet member for planning and development, has branded the five-year plan a “draconian policy”, and promised the council would still apply great care in assessing planning applications.

He said: “Whitehall has moved away from the localism that promised a bright future for areas like Fylde. Councillors were to have the power to decide how many houses were needed. That concept is gone now that Whitehall is being so rigid with its five-year requirement.

“It is a draconian policy that we will continue to fight hard.”

Coun Fiddler will meet planning minster Nick Boles on January 9 with other council representatives to tell him how keen they are to retain power in saying where houses should be built and in what quantity. He hopes other councils in Lancashire will join them.

He said councils which failed to meet their target could lose their power to determine planning applications.

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