A CONTROVERSIAL road linking St Annes with the motorway has been approved, despite the concerns of local councillors.
There are fears Lancashire County Council’s decision to approve the M55 link road could pave the way for Kensington Developments to win permission for a 1,150-home estate on land off Queensway.
County Councillors Howard Henshaw and Paul Hayhurst - who represent St Annes North and Fylde West – had pleaded with the planning committee to defer a decision on the road until the outcome of Kensington’s application was decided, but the link road was passed by the rest of the committee.
Kensington lost an appeal for the estate – dubbed the “New Fylde Village” – last year, but changes in legislation mean secretary of state Eric Pickles is preparing to reconsider their application.
“I don’t think we should have been passing planning permission for the road in advance of the secretary of state’s decision,” said Coun Hayhurst.
“The road is very necessary for St Annes but I think 1,150 houses is far too high a price to pay for it.
“The absence of planning permission for the road – seen as key to alleviate congestion on Queensway – was one of the reasons Kensington lost their appeal.
The developers have offered to fund the route if they win permission.
Coun Hayhurst added: “I don’t think we should pre-judge the planning decision by granting the road and allowing Kensington to tick a box saying they’ve got rid of one of the objections.”
And Coun Henshaw said feeling in St Annes was still very much against the development, despite a wish to see the new road built.
He said: “Most people feel yes we want the link road but no we don’t want this development.
“It will ruin Lytham St Annes and turn it from a small town into a large town. We want to retain that greenbelt land.”
Both Coun Hayhurst and Coun Henshaw, along with Preston Coun Bill Winlow, abstained from voting after their motion to defer a decision on the application was defeated.