Parking issues and height concerns sink Thornton flats proposals

Proposals to build 33 apartments for people aged 55 and over in Thornton have been refused by Wyre planners due to a lack of parking provision and the size of the proposed building.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 2:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 2:04 pm
James Carter Homes planned to build 33 apartments for people aged 55 and over

Proposals to build 33 apartments for people aged 55 and over in Thornton have been refused by Wyre planners due to a lack of parking provision and the size of the proposed building.

James Carter Homes had applied for outline planning permission to demolish an existing house and build the homes on land at Craiglands, off Hillylaid Road.

The application went before Wyre's planning committee where councillors raised concerns that although there were 33 apartments, the plans only allocated 22 car parking spaces, which was likely to lead to parking on the road and associated problems with traffic flow.

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Committee members also agreed that although the design for the building was attractive, its height, scale and mass made it overbearing for the site, which was close to smaller properties on neighbouring Caernarfon Close.

The application, which had been recommended for approval by planning officers, was unanimously rejected.

Councillors were told there had been some design amendments which meant that part of the proposed building nearest to neighbouring properties, on Caernarfon Close, had been reduced from three stories to two.

The plans had attracted 48 letters of objection from residents.

Joseph Boniface, on behalf of James Carter Homes, said: "The scheme will become a fantastic facility for the area, enhancing the locality and improving the visual amenity of the site in its current state, while benefiting an ageing community as noted in the Local Plan."

He said the applicants had worked hard with the planning office to meet all requirement, and in doing had achieved a recommendation for the scheme.

But Coun Ken Minto, opposing the "oppressive and overbearing" scheme, said: "A man and a galloping horse can see this development does not fit in with the area, ticks all the wrong boxes and will increase the problems we already have with services and sewers."

Coun Minto also raised concerns that the development would add to the growing traffic and exhaust pollution already being generated by nearby NPL Estates, the enterprise zone for Wyre.

Coun Phil Orme, who proposed the scheme be rejected on parking grounds, said: "There are 33 flats and 22 parking spaces and I take great exception to the comment in the report which says that because these flats are designed for people aged 55 and over, car ownership is likely to be lower in this demographic.

"I can guarantee that in this day and age, there is more car ownership aged 55 and plus than there is of a our younger people who cannot afford to either get lessons or own a car.

"Even if you accept that some of these residents may be on electric scooters, there is still a need for at least half the flats to have parking spaces and there to be visitor spots.

"This is just nonsense and Hillylaid Road is clearly not a road that is going accept any parking."