‘No debate’ on link road shift

Flooding on North Houses Lane, close to where Lancashire County Council want to build the new M55 link road.
Flooding on North Houses Lane, close to where Lancashire County Council want to build the new M55 link road.
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AN ENVIRONMENTAL group has hit out after plans for a major Fylde link road were changed without “public debate”.

Lancashire County Council now want to create man-made flood plains as part of the proposed £10m M55 link road on land off Heyhouses Lane, St Annes.

Many fear permission for the route would help housing giant Kensington Developments – who would fund the route – succeed in their appeal to build more than 1,000 homes on land off Queensway.

The road application was originally submitted in November, but has now been amended to include the flood areas – located between the road and Heyhouses Lane – as well as land labelled “area for excavated arisings”.

And Queensway Environmental Defenders (QED) have been left furious by Lancashire County Council’s decision to alter the plans and build a flood plain close to homes.

A spokesman for QED said: “The plans now include a ‘flood compensation area’ that is several hectares in extent. This will act as a sacrificial flooding area in times of heavy rain.

“We are very concerned very significant changes such as this are being made to the plans without proper information and public debate.”

Project manager Steve McCreesh said: “As the road occupies an area of flood-plain it’s essential an equivalent area of ground for the storage of flood water is provided.

“This is provided by excavating another area to the depth of less than 30cm.

“In turn, the excavated material is placed elsewhere at less than 30cm high. The level of the land will not be changed to such an extent that it will cause any visual detriment to the view from nearby properties. The excavated area will continue to be farmed.”

The application is due to be discussed by Lancashire County Council’s planning committee on March 11.