Fears over house targets

The meeting at the Lightning Club at BAE Warton where residents met Fylde Council regarding the local plan
The meeting at the Lightning Club at BAE Warton where residents met Fylde Council regarding the local plan
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Ten pressure groups opposed to the “over-development” of rural Fylde have called for a meeting to resolve “grave differences” with council bosses.

A letter sent by the groups to Fylde Council has asked to meet with planning officers and Coun Trevor Fiddler, the relevant portfolio holder, over concerns the housing need of the borough has been overestimated.

The groups claim the council has been using out-of-date data in order to predict the area’s future housing needs.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England - Fylde District Group, is among the groups to have made the call.

Don Moore, from the group, said: “We have asked for a meeting because there are grave differences between what Fylde Council are saying and what the pressure groups are saying. What we’re trying to achieve is to get the council to say that the way they’re going forward they are just going on old data and they’re giving developers leeway for a lot more housing than is actually needed.

“We need to revise our estimates on the basis of more up-to-date data.”

The groups to have signed the letter are Campaign to Protect Rural England - Fylde District Group, Community Association for the Protection of Wrea Green, Concerned Residents Of Warton’s Development, Defend Lytham, Fylde Civic Awareness Group, Lytham St Annes Civic Society, Queensway Environmental Defenders, Staining Against Village Expansion, Warton Residents Against Poor Planning and Wesham Action Group.

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “We are very happy to meet with representatives of the groups to discuss the matter in an open-handed and fair manner and we have publicly committed to do so.

“Openness is at the heart of the Local Plan, although we accept that it’s not possible to meet everyone’s needs.

“We are currently awaiting evidence from the Government’s strategic housing market assessment which outlines the Government’s methodology in determining housing numbers. It would be fruitless to have the meeting before that information is available. We expect that information in the first week of January and hope to meet the groups once that information is with us.”

No date for the meeting has yet been fixed.

“The council is nonetheless required to designate land for extra homes to meet the long-term requirements of Fylde residents. It is in everyone’s interest that we do that in the fairest way possible and we regard all views as valid.

“All residents require homes and they will have to be built in the most suitable locations. We accept that opinions will differ as to the suitability of different places which is why the local plan is being developed openly and transparently.”

“We are pleased that individuals and groups are taking part in this process which we have to get right for the sake of all the residents of Fylde.”

No date for a meeting has yet been set.

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