Housing boom for Garstang?

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GARSTANG and rural Wyre looks set to see a building boom over the next 15 years, with almost 1,000 new homes being built.

The biggest site suggested for new homes is to the south of Garstang, on a parcel of land bounded by Kepple Lane, the A6 and the River Wyre.

If Wyre Council approves the draft Wyre Core Strategy blueprint, which was published this week, for public discussion, it will lead to a public debate this spring on topics such as housing, the economy, commerce, flood risk, renewable energy and the environment.

But it is the housing suggestions which are likely to create the biggest controversy.

The draft blueprint for the new homes to be built between 2011 and 2028, suggests 550 new homes in Garstang and Catterall, 250 homes in the Knott End to Hambleton ‘rural west’, 200 homes in the area between Pilling/Forton and Great Eccleston/Brock and 40 in the Scorton/Calder Vale upland area – though those figures don’t take into account homes that have been built since last year.

Just over a decade ago there was major opposition to earmarking ‘green wedge’ land off Green Lane East, Cabus and north Garstang, for new housing estates. These developments are both now built.

Now, according to a map of Garstang contained in the draft blueprint, the focus is likely to shift to Kepple Lane, where there has already been controversy over the granting of temporary planning permission for a caravan site on land owned by showman Mr Stanley Cubbins.

By the time Mr Cubbins’ temporary permission runs out, the land could be on the way to being allocated for part of a bigger estate of new housing.

Throughout Wyre new homes to be built would be a mixture of properties, detached, semis, flats and social and affordable housing.

Balanced against the homes development suggestions is a recognition of potential flood risks, close to the River Wyre.

The blueprint says: “Development proposals will only be justified where the use is considered appropriate to the level of risk and suitable mitigation measures are incorporated.”

The area suggested for more homes in Catterall area is close to Riverside Industrial estate.

On the jobs front, four current employment areas will continue to be business bases: Green Lane West, Riverside (Catterall), Brockholes Way (Claughton) and the Creamery estate (Claughton), and an additional 16 hectares of land will be earmarked for employment sites.

The blueprint says: “Expanding Catterall’s employment activities would create the opportunity to establish further jobs, strengthen the local economy, improve access from the A6 and also reinforce Catterall’s capabilities as an employment hub within the rural hinterland.”

The report stresses Garstang