Preesall residents raised flooding fears over plans for 39 affordable homes - but the scheme has got the go ahead

Planners at Wyre have given the go-ahead to 39 affordable homes at Preesall
Planners at Wyre have given the go-ahead to 39 affordable homes at Preesall
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Controversial plans to build 39 affordable homes in Preesall have been given the go-ahead by Wyre planners.

The application by MCI Developments Limited went before the committee yesterday, when councillors voted by eight to five to approve it.
The scheme comprises 15 two-bedroomed bungalows, 11 two-bedroomed houses, and 13 three-bedroom houses built on land land south of Rosslyn Avenue, Preesall.

With the homes to be made available on both an affordable rent and buy basis, the scheme provides a welcome opportunity for people who will struggle to pay for homes at the usual market cost.

The recent Wyre Local Plan designated a need for this kind of accommodation.

But Preesall Town Council strongly opposed the plans following a consultation by Wyre Council, citing flood risks, drainage and sewage disposal, impact on wildlife and potential land contamination among its concerns.

Despite this, Wyre's planning committee, which had rejected the same application on February 6, found there were insufficient planning grounds to reject the application this time

On that occasion the scheme was refused because MCI Developments had been unable to to provide between £10,000 and £20,000 under a 106 agreement - a standard requirement for a large development like this, involving a financial contribution towards measures to improve nearby green infrastructure, education and sustainable travel provision.

But this time the developers agreed to provide even more money under the 106 agreement, in the sum of £100,000.

The Environment Agency raised no objection to the plans and United Utilities says there is adequate capacity within the existing water mains system to accommodate the proposed development without the need for re-enforcement.

Alison May, clerk to Preesall Town Council, said: "The town council did not object to the housing scheme itself, because there is a need for affordable housing in Wyre.

"But there are serious concerns about the location, in terms of the flood risk to the new occupants and nearby homes, and also issues of access and the effect on nearby roads.

"The town councillors feel this site is totally unsuitable and there will be a lot of disappointment locally over this decision."

In an unusual twist, the application is still set for an appeal before the Planning Inspectorate following the refusal in February, but while this will not effect the result of yesterday's meeting it may have a bearing on the 106 agreement.

The original application also attracted some 42 letters of objection, with regards to loss of wildlife, congestion, lack of places at nearby schools, air pollution and more.