Anger over plans to build more houses before M55 link road work begins to relieve traffic congestion

Kensingtons new flagship development at Richmond Point.
Kensingtons new flagship development at Richmond Point.
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A councillor has blasted house builder Kensington Developments for asking for leave to build more houses before it starts work on a vital link road.

West Fylde County Councillor Paul Hayhurst said the firm should not be allowed to build anything else at the Richmond Point site until work on the long-awaited M55 link road has begun.

Councillor Paul Hayhurst

Councillor Paul Hayhurst

READ MORE: Just what is the M55 link road and why is it linked to new house being built near Blackpool?

He said it was time for Fylde Council to stand up to Kensington and refuse its latest request.

READ MORE: Kensington Developments seeks road link change on Richmond Point

Following a public inquiry, Kensington Developments was told by a planning inspector it must start work on the road to relieve local traffic congestion by the time the 65th house at its huge 1,000 home development site off Queensway between Blackpool and St Annes was occupied.

Now it has asked Fylde Council to make that 165 houses.

County Coun Hayhurst said he was furious with the company’s bid.

He said: “I am absolutely appalled by Kensington’s latest move. I have over the years met Kensington on many occasions to try to get this link road started. They simply prevaricate time and time again. They were granted permission to build 1,150 houses at Queensway by the planning inspector on appeal on the strict condition that they build the link road to St Annes and Lytham.

“The estimated cost at the time was £16m for the road. Since then the council has won a government grant, which makes Kensington’s contribution almost negligible. They have delayed and moved the goalposts again and again. For them to come back now asking for more houses to be built before the road is started is absolutely deplorable.

“It is a mirror of the trouble the council had with them over Cypress Point. Fylde Council must now stand up to Kensington and insist they make good on their obligations.

“This link road to the motorway is the most important for the surrounding area.

“Queensway and the nearby roads are chockablock.”

Developer awaiting designs

David Tingle, from Kensington, said: “The planning application relates to the provision of the permanent access into the site from the Queensway road and the first section of the Heyhouses Bypass. This road infrastructure is currently being designed by Lancashire County Council. The application does not relate to the construction of the M55 link road. We can confirm that Kensington Developments are continuing to work with Lancashire County Council, Fylde Borough Council and the local MP Mark Menzies in order to bring forward the construction of the M55 link road in advance of the timescale required.”