Plans pave way for homes boom

Coun Peter Murphy
Coun Peter Murphy
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Garstang and its surrounding areas may be earmarked for thousands of new homes, possibly having to take on most of Wyre’s housing needs over the next 16 years.

Concentrating most of Wyre’s future new homes and employment sites in Garstang and along the A6 corridor is the most controversial of three options being considered by borough planners.

The other two options for the borough’s blueprint plan up to the year 2031 include concentrating development in urban Wyre (Poulton/Thornton/Fleetwood) or “sharing” development around all parts of the borough.

Whichever option is chosen will mean big changes, with more homes for Garstang and rural Wyre and the loss of agricultural land.

Green wedge land across the borough could be sacrificed as part of Wyre Council’s proposed new blueprint.

Included in the three draft options for the new Local Plan are large-scale housing of up to 7,000 houses, industry and retail premises.

The most controversial element being yet more housing – regardless of which of the three options are chosen after public consultation.

In a report to Wyre Council’s cabinet, the authority’s economic and planning boss Coun Pete Murphy (pictured) says whichever option is chosen “inevitably there will be a need for the release of significant areas of greenfield land around the edge of settlements.”

Wyre Council has come under fire over the past two years for not having a blueprint plan to guide development. The lack of a such a plan has been blamed for developers’ success in pushing through controversial large-scale housing estates, such as those south of Kepple Lane, Garstang. Wyre Council is likely to launch a public consultation on its draft development blueprint options later this month.

Wyre’s draft “concentrate development in Garstang” option could lead to between 5,000 and 7,000 homes built around the town, and along the A6 as far as Barton, by 2031.

Coun Murphy’s report says previous planning policies will be fed into the new blueprint, but adds the scale of growth needed “is significantly greater than previously established.”