Station offer in homes bid

The area on Ballam Road where the 73 homes are to be built
The area on Ballam Road where the 73 homes are to be built
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A NEW housing development in the centre of Lytham looks set to be given the go-ahead by councillors this week.

Kensington want to build 73 homes on the town’s former Aegon insurance site, at the corner of Ballam Road and South Park.

It is the same land where the developer won permission to build an apartment block and offices on back in 2005.

And, despite the land being earmarked for employment use in the Fylde Borough Local Plan, the council’s Development Control Committee is being recommended to approve Kensington’s latest application when it meets on Wednesday.

The developer wants to build 73 homes, including 29 mews houses and 44 apartments.

As part of the proposal Kensington has offered to provide 22 to 30 new affordable homes on Phase Two of its Lytham Quays scheme.

If it only builds 22 affordable properties, Kensington has also offered to refurbish Lytham Station, at a cost of around £200,000, and give the council £250,000 for ‘public realm improvements’.

In a statement to councillors, Fylde’s case officer Andrew Stell said: “(There is) limited availability of suitable sites for residential development in the borough.

“It is considered the borough’s need for housing land, the particular suitability of this site for residential development, and the benefits the application will bring in terms of the affordable housing delivery and public realm improvements will outweigh the conflict with the Local Plan employment allocation.”

Mr Stell added the benefits new public realm cash could bring to the town, especially in the run-up to the 2012 Open Golf at Royal Lytham and St Annes, showed “there was merit in pursuing funding for these works.”

John Westmoreland, secretary of the Fylde branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), supports the idea of the brownfield development “in principle” as a contribution to the borough’s housing supply.

But he added CPRE would like to see 30 per cent of the homes classed as affordable in line with the council’s interim housing policy.

Five local residents have objected to the scheme because the design is “bland and uninspiring”.

There have also been complaints there is no demand for apartments in Lytham and the three and four-storey apartment blocks would be too tall.