Urban sprawl fear over Moss homes

Land around Runnell Farm on Chapel Road in Marton has been earmarked for a housing development
Land around Runnell Farm on Chapel Road in Marton has been earmarked for a housing development
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DEVELOPERS have been warned they are “jumping the gun” by wanting to build homes on the edge of Blackpool before a wider plan is put in place for the area.

Kensington Developments is planning to construct 83 houses on land at Runnell Farm, off Chapel Road on Marton Moss.

A planning inquiry into the scheme heard Blackpool Council had refused the application, claiming it was premature and would compromise future, more comprehensive, blueprints for the whole of the Moss.

Council planning officer Susan Parker told the hearing at Blackpool Town Hall: “Allowing smaller developments such as this proposal to come forward on an ad hoc basis might encourage other developers to jump the gun with the result being urban sprawl.”

The council wants to wait until its wider strategy for the Moss has been agreed and gone out to public consultation, before allowing schemes to come forward.

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It has earmarked the land for hundreds of new homes in the future, but says new roads, schools and leisure amenities must be planned in tandem with house-building.

But Roger Lancaster, representing Kensington Developments, said the scheme would meet local housing need and should be allowed to go ahead now.

He told planning inspector Susan Holland the council’s existing policies were out of date.

Mr Lancaster said: “There is a fundamental shortfall in terms of aspirational family housing around the periphery of the borough and affordable housing in the inner areas.

“Immediate release of greenfield land on the urban periphery is required.”

Kensington Developments already has planning permission to build 584 houses on Moss House Road, also part of Marton Moss.

John Ashworth, who owns Runnell Farm, said: “This is the only frontage onto Midgeland Road not to be developed already, so the scheme cannot be considered premature – it is infill.”

But other residents said they were worried about increased traffic on Midgeland Road.

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