Villagers fight 165 homes bid plan

Councillor Lynne Bowen

Councillor Lynne Bowen

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Villagers have come out in force to oppose developers who want to build 165 houses on fields in their village.

And Gladman Developments of Cheshire want to build on part of the village school’s grounds – without the permission of the school itself.

The outline plans for land off Arthurs Lane would see a mixture of two to five bedroom properties – from apartments to detached properties and including 30 per cent of “affordable” housing.

But because the new estate would be right next door to the village school, its children would have priority for places over existing village families.

Coun Lynne Bowen said the planning application should be thrown out.

She said: “It is far too big for a village of this size.

“The A586 is already one of the 10 most dangerous roads in the country and if this gets the go-ahead then we can expect around 300 more cars.

“Traffic is already backed up for miles to Shard Bridge and people living in the new houses would have to drive to work as there is none in Over Wyre.

“There would be a drainage problem too, with houses on those fields. We already have flooding issues here.”

She said that if built the new houses would make the school land-locked with nowhere to expand and that despite national housing quotas there was no need for more housing in Hambleton.

Villager Lisa Robbins said: “People are very upset about this development.

“The roads near the school, Arthurs Lane and Church Lane are already busy and difficult to cross with children and 165 houses will make it impossible.

“I have two pre-school children and my biggest worry is that they will not get places at the school that I went to as a child because families from the new houses would get priority.

“It will change the character of the village and also cause the flooding to become worse.”

More than 120 letters of objections have been lodged against the application at Wyre Council including one from the staff and governors of the village school.

Pamela Birch, principal at Hambleton Primary Academy, wrote: “Governors and staff oppose this application.

“The plan includes our playing fields within its boundary and we have not given permission for this.

“We are extremely concerned about the safety of our children given inevitable increases in traffic, should this application be successful.

“Our school is full with waiting lists for all year groups.

“If this plan goes ahead, children who live elsewhere in Hambleton would not get into school as the admissions code (national admissions code for England) prioritises children who live closest to school. Clearly, children living on this new development would be nearest.

“This would therefore disadvantage existing Hambleton families and be grossly unfair.”

Villager Andy Meredith said an action group had been formed and a meeting held at the village hall.

He said: “This is a seriously large development representing a 30 per cent increase i the settlement size. It is a terrible location, right next to the school. The local roads area already near capacity.”

The application has been submitted by Gladman Developments to Wyre Council and has yet to be heard.

Gladman Developments did not respond to Gazette requests to comment.