Blackpool homes plans sunk due to flooding fears
Plans for a major housing development in Blackpool have been thrown out by councillors who heard residents already live in fear of flooding.
Developers Lovell Partnerships had wanted to build 86 houses on land at Warren Drive, Norbreck, but Blackpool Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected the application after hearing “gardens in the area had been under water for months”.
Despite being recommended to approve the scheme which would help Blackpool meet its house-building targets, councillors said it was “the wrong place”.
People living in the area had most recently suffered flooding during heavy rainfall last November.
Building more houses would just add to the problem, they warned.
Norbreck councillor Maxine Callow said: “The residents in this area live in fear of heavy rainfall.
“Some tell me when the rain is heavy, they sit up all night watching the levels rise, and some gardens in the area have been under water for many months.
“I appreciate new houses are needed, but it doesn’t mean we should act irresponsibly and build houses that are prone to flooding.”
The committee heard the scheme would help Blackpool meet its house-building target, set by government, of 4,200 homes by 2027.
But councillors said they should not bow to pressure to allow development in flood risk areas.
Coun Fred Jackson said: “I serve on the regional flood and coastal communities committee and one of the concerns is that due to pressure being put on local government to build ‘x’ amount of new houses every year, that some local authorities are building houses in the wrong place.
“I don’t think this is the right place to build houses. I think there is a real problem of further flooding.”
Residents, who addressed the committee, said heavy rainfall on November 22 last year had flooded properties in the area.
The problem had been exacerbated when one of the pumps at Anchorsholme pumping station had failed.
Latif Patel, from Blackpool Council highways department, said there were also concerns about traffic congestion from the proposed development at the junction with North Drive.
Lovells’ spokesman told the committee talks had been held with United Utilites and the Environment Agency, neither of whom had objected and “the scheme does not increase run off in any way.”.
The developer had proposed to raise the level of the land around the perimeter of the site to create a plateau which would protect the new houses from the risk of flooding.
A new mini roundabout was proposed for Warren Drive to minimise traffic issues.