RESIDENTS have been left gutted after learning the rural peace they paid thousands for is to be shattered by a new housing development.
Councillors had fought to stop Kensington Developments winning permission to build almost 50 homes in isolated Westby, on the edge of Blackpool.
But they have now been overruled by a government inspector and permission was granted.
Fylde Council cannot prove it has the necessary five-year supply of housing land, which is putting the borough’s rural areas under threat from developers.
The news has left those living close to the sites, at Whitehills Business Park, devastated.
Maureen Futers, of Whitehill Road, said: “At the end of the day this area is a rural area.
“We’re gutted, we moved out here for the quiet.
“It’s what you save up all your life for to move somewhere rural, it was a dream come true and all of a sudden they are going to plonk somebody overlooking our fence.”
Fylde Council had argued Kensington should be denied permission to build 10 homes on the Westfield Nurseries site and a further 38 on land next to the Honda garage because the area is countryside and too isolated for homes. But, following a two-day inquiry, planning inspector Andrew Freeman ruled: “Housing requirement cannot be met within defined settlement boundaries and development in countryside areas will be necessary.”
Redrow Homes has also appealed Fylde Council’s decision to refuse permission for 60 homes on a neighbouring plot of land.
A spokesman for the council said: “The reason the applicant has succeeded is because it is only classed as countryside, not greenbelt, and Fylde has not allocated enough land for housing.
“At some stage we will have to identify more sites for building on but we will continue to try to protect the countryside.”
Denley Barrow, Kensington Development’s managing director, said: “We are obviously delighted with the inspector’s decision which supports the Government’s objective to promote sustainable economic growth in the Fylde.
“This is an ideal opportunity to provide high quality housing in a landscaped setting close to the major employment centre of Whitehills.”