New homes development on former ICI site in Thornton moves closer to approval

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Ongoing plans for over 200 new homes in Thornton have been set for approval by council planners.

Plans for 210 new homes, all under the affordable housing bracket, were submitted in May 2020 for land off Bourne Road in Thornton, on the former Thornton Power Station site.

The power station was constructed by ICI in 1953 to power the adjacent Hillhouse chemical plant before its demolition in 2009.

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Wyre council planners resolved to grant permission for the development, but had to refer the application back to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) before work could begin.

210 new affordable housing properties are set to be given the go ahead on the former Thornton Power Station site off Bourne Road.210 new affordable housing properties are set to be given the go ahead on the former Thornton Power Station site off Bourne Road.
210 new affordable housing properties are set to be given the go ahead on the former Thornton Power Station site off Bourne Road.

HSE said that it had "sufficient reasons, on safety grounds, for advising against the granting of planning permission" due to the proposed development lying "within the HSE consultation distance of a major accident hazard pipeline and a major hazard site," the Cadent gas line and ICI chemical plant site respectively.

However, despite safety concerns, the Government agency determined the final decision would ultimately lie with Wyre Council, but reminded planners to be mindful of "consequences that could follow should a major accident occur involving the major accident hazard pipeline."

The development, which will include 85 one-bed, 53 two-bed, 66 three-bed and six four-bed properties, will be able to go ahead when the planning committee reviews the update from HSE and gives final approval.

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Wyre Council's drainage engineer also voiced concerns regarding the development, as it involved "the culverting of a main river watercourse and also an ordinary watercourse."

The drainage engineer advised the developer that "future management and maintenance of the culverting must be provided to prevent flooding upstream," but there were no objections from the engineer in relation to land levels.

But chairman of the planning committee, councillor Paul Moon, said planners had taken all points made on board when deciding whether or not to grant the development permission.

Coun Moon said: "There have been issues relating to flooding [in Thornton], but it's not necessarily relating to this piece of land.

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"The developer wants to create this culvert, and hopefully the development would improve this situation.

"The planning committee are extremely aware and cautious of any development that would make any potential flooding situations worse.

"The drainage engineer's comments were noted by the committee, but we were told it's not what you'd imagine as a true watercourse or a dyke, it's more like a depression in the ground.

"The proposal is that once it is culverted, it would be a more efficient method of moving the water along."

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County Councillor Andrea Kay voiced her objections to the plans at the planning committee meeting, although she opposed the potential for increased traffic disturbance and accidents on Bourne Road, and the extra pressure on local schools, not the building of new homes.

Coun Kay said: "We're congested as it is, and I would always look at the traffic because we don't need any more of it.

"All I receive every year is that children can't go to their local schools in Thornton and Cleveleys.

"We're looking at 210 fully affordable housing properties on there, so how many families are going to go on there?

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"I'm not against housing, I want people to be able to get into new houses, renting somewhere with a view to buy. I totally support that.

"But I'm concerned about the traffic and access to the site, and they should be putting a pathway in before any construction starts around there.

"Flooding is also a concern, I still have people ringing me nearby with flooding problems when it rains, are these culverts going to be adequate enough?"

Worries over safety issues on Bourne Road were also voiced by residents of neighbouring estate Hawley Gardens after a near-miss accident, and many have already lodged objections to the new Bourne Road development proposals.

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One resident said: "Ridiculous to put more houses here. If anything it should be made a better wildlife reserve joining onto Stanah park.

"There is already anti social behaviour coming from Burn Naze and this will attract more. If I knew more houses were getting built, myself and I know a lot of other residents on Hawley Gardens would certainly not have purchased."

If the developer gets the final green light from council planners, it will also provide a "considerable off-site financial contribution towards the future delivery of children and young people's play at the junction of Bourne Road and Fleetwood Road."

The contribution will go towards building a new play area at the junction, which already has planning permission in place.