‘Homes will suffocate town’

Coun Sandra Perkins believes housing developments will put too much pressure on Garstang
Coun Sandra Perkins believes housing developments will put too much pressure on Garstang
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Garstang’s county councillor says the blanket approval of more than 600 homes will “suffocate” the town.

Nine applications totalling nearly 800 homes were put before Wyre Council’s Planning Committee last week with all but one being approved.

Our doctors are stretched to breaking point, our schools are full and our young people are leaving the area to live elsewhere

In total ,269 homes are set to be built at Nateby Crossing Lane, Nateby, 66 at Daniel Fold Farm in Catterall, 72 houses on Garstang Road, Barton, 34 at Shepherds Farm, Barton, 95 at Garstang Golf Club and 49 homes at Calder House Lane near Bowgreave.

A multi-million pound revamp and retail extension to Garstang Business and Community Centre was also approved including 18 apartments. Outline permission for a residential development on Garstang Road, Bowgreave was given the green light .

An application to build 183 homes at Cabus the only refusal.

Coun Sandra Perkins said: “While most people will accept that some development may need to take place, the blanket approval of such enormous developments without proper infrastructure will suffocate Garstang.

“The carrot given by developers is ‘affordable housing’. How many people realise that the expression means social housing not houses young people starting out in life can afford to buy. So, we have social housing and then four and five bedroomed, two bathroom houses, nothing in between.

“I believe that local residents would more readily accept further development if there was evidence to show that such colossal and numerous sites were needed in the area because it seems at the moment that all this is an exercise to fulfil quotas Imposed by central government.

“Our doctors are stretched to breaking point, our schools are full and our young people are leaving the area to live elsewhere. Conservative Wyre councillors need to be lobbying their government and saying enough is enough and asking them to show us the evidence that supports the need for such large scale development. “Developers are jumping on the band wagon of no local plan and we seem to be falling into their trap. Before we know where we are we will be joined up with and become another suburb of Preston.”

The applications were passed despite issues such as a lack of amenities and the loss of greenbelt and agricultural land being raised by town and parish councils as well as residents’ groups.

After the meeting, Garstang town councillor Alan Cornthwaite said: “I’m disappointed at loss of community centre and concerned about the lack of amenities with so many new coming to the area.

“But there are positives like houses for young people and new jobs will be created too.”