Wesham go-ahead dashes hopes of battlers

Land off Mowbreck Lane, in Wesham.
Land off Mowbreck Lane, in Wesham.
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Residents fighting a housing development have had their hopes dashed after a planning appeal ruled in favour of building 100 homes.

Wesham Action Group (WAG) put up a strong battle against developer Metacre after Fylde Council refused planning permission for the houses at Mowbreck Lane, Wesham.

Following an eight-day inquiry in February, the Planning Inspectorate has now agreed to grant planning permission.

Fylde Council offered no evidence during the appeal, claiming the decision not to present a case was taken as soon as possible – after the developer’s proof of Fylde’s housing deficit wasn’t received until three working days before the inquiry.

Now the cost of the inquiry, expected to run into thousands of pounds, is to be borne by Fylde Council which Metacre said “acted unreasonably” by causing the appeal which “should not have been necessary”.

Planning Inspector Clive Sproule’s decision agreed with Metacre’s case that planning permission should have been granted because the council does not have a five year housing supply, as set out by the government.

Andrea Galbraith, who led the evidence for WAG, today said: “It’s extremely disappointing given that the appeal that was passed was little more than a cut down version of one which was rejected just two years ago.

“Our fear now is that it will lead to more and more homes being built as part of this.

“We were disappointed with Fylde Council for offering no defence against the homes being built and feel let-down.

“I have no doubt the people of Kirkham and Wesham feel abandoned by what has happened.”

No-one from Metacre was available for comment.

Coun Ben Aitken, who chairs Fylde Council’s development management committee, said the appeal outcome was “not unexpected”.
He said: “Everything is to do with the five year supply of housing. Both Labour and the coalition have this notion that house building is the way forward, and we have to adhere to what the government sets out.”