Developer behind village’s 100-home bid wins appeal

Developer Story Homes hold an exhibiton over plans for new homes in Wrea Green.  Beverley Jinks with Matthew and Daniel Jinks.
Developer Story Homes hold an exhibiton over plans for new homes in Wrea Green. Beverley Jinks with Matthew and Daniel Jinks.
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A developer has been given permission to build as many as 100 new homes in a picturesque Fylde village -– despite councillors throwing out several previous applications.

Story Homes was given the green light by the government’s Planning Inspectorate for the homes, on land off Willow Drive, following a four-day inquiry last month.

A range of detached and semi-detached homes will now be built there, the firm said.

Story Homes’ planner David Hayward said he was ‘delighted’ at the outcome of the appeal, which has angered residents, according to local councillor Frank Andrews.

Mr Hayward said: “The scheme has been extremely well thought out and is not only high-quality, but will also complement the existing character of the village and provide open space for the use of the whole community.

“The homes will also help boost the supply of much-needed new homes and make a contribution towards the supply of affordable housings in the Fylde.”

The outline planning permission follows earlier refusals of a 100-home scheme in September 2014, and a 49-home scheme last January.

A revised scheme for 49 homes was approved in October, but this latest news means the site now has approval for up to 100 homes.

Coun Andrews said: “It beggars belief. This is an unwanted result and people in Wrea Green are very unhappy about it.

“We fought this appeal and clearly we have lost. The village is now in the difficult position of having even more homes built.

“Some 241 homes are being built or are approved to be built and it’s a 630-home village. That’s a huge increase and desperately bad news.

“The village has resisted this and we are disappointed with the result. I haven’t met anyone who does not share my views.”

Vincent Ryan from Barton Willmore, which represented Story Homes at the public inquiry, said: “The inspector rightly concluded the impact of the development on the setting and character of Wrea Green would be acceptable, and that the scheme represents sustainable development in a sustainable location.

“This aligns with the government’s commitment to deliver more homes to address the well-documented housing crisis.”

Coun Andrews denied more homes were needed, saying 30 homes are empty or on the market and population figures in the area remain static.

John Rowson, chairman of the Community Association for the Protection of Wrea Green (CAPOW), said: “It’s getting to the stage where Wrea Green is no longer a village. People are moving, they are leaving.”