Residents claim houses would ‘destroy’ lane

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Councillors will make a fact-finding visit to a village which residents claim is being ‘targeted’ by housebuilders.

Members of Preston Council’s planning committee have deferred making a decision on an application for eight luxury detached homes in Grimsargh until they can see for themselves why more than 200 villagers have lodged objections.

If approved, the plan, by Pringle Homes, of Woodplumpton, would be the third recent “small scale” development by the company in Whittingham Lane.

And locals believe it could “destroy the quintessential nature” of their rural lane.

One villager, who lives next door to the latest development site, told the committee: “These houses would be overbearing, obtrusive and out of character.”

Resident David Thomas appealed to members: “Please respect this and save the character of our much-loved village.”

The planned development of executive homes - priced between £430,000 and £600,000 - is on the site of Whitefriars, a detached property with extensive gardens.

Council officers recommended the plan should be passed, subject to a raft of conditions.

But in view of furious opposition from locals, committee members decided to delay a decision until they had visited the site which is opposite the Grimsargh village green and adjacent to a recently-built development called Silver Birches.

Coun Neil Cartwright said: “The unprecedented number of objections to this shows the strength of feeling. There is a very high level of concern.

“It will have the same access road and share services with Silver Birches. In fact it’s phase two of one scheme and the cumulative impact of the two sites together is very significant in the context of Goosnargh village.”

The original scheme was for nine homes, but was reduced to eight following negotiations.

Six of the eight proposed homes would be accessed from the existing Silver Birches access road, whilst the two fronting Whittingham Lane would be accessed from private driveways onto Whittingham Lane.