Posted by: westlancashirerecord | February 28, 2017

Moon In A “Not In My Backyard” Comment at Preesall Town Council

Cllr Paul Moon watchers in Preesall report on his attendances at meetings. Given the ongoing concerns of constituents of Cat Smith MP that Cllr Moon splits his time juggling commitments on two borough councils 30 miles apart it might seem unfortunate of Cllr Moon to have made reference to “not in my backyard” at a public meeting in Preesall. After all, people might wonder which backyard he meant, he’s got them in Wyre and West Lancashire.

The minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Town Council held on Monday 28 November 2016 show that Cllr Moon moonowl1-001 intervened in a contentious meeting about land development of 70 houses.

Councillors were made aware of the public’s concerns regarding planning application 16/00978/OUTMAJ. In total thirty individual comments were made, approx 60 members of the public attended.

Flooding – a large number of concerns were raised regarding water attenuation, dyke maintenance, existing flooding to properties and run-off flooding to existing properties if site levels are raised. In response: Cllr Orme stated that land management is the responsibility of the site owners. The difficulty arises in future years if the ‘management company’ set up to look after the site ceases to exist and both new and existing property owners are left to resolve ongoing problems. The public were asked how many people already use sump pumps to remove water from their houses and eight people raised their hands. Cllr Reilly pointed out that the more evidence the council has of existing flooding problems, the better equipped it would be in its arguments regarding flooding and the potential increase in problems for residents. Cllr Black pointed out that farmers do care about the land as it is their livelihood at stake. In the past ICI used to pump thousands of gallons of water off the land but this is no longer done, which has caused the water table to rise. It was also pointed out that over the years a number of the dykes have been filled in when the new housing estates were created also adding to the problem. Those present were advised to make the Environment Agency aware of the existing problems with flooding and blocked dykes as it has responsibility the larger watercourses and runs the pumping station at Wheelfoot watercourse. They were also advised to write to Carl Green at Wyre Council as he is responsible for pursuing the riparian owner of the land where there is a blocked dyke.

It was RESOLVED: To oppose the planning application by a majority vote (8 in favour and 1 abstention) for the reasons discussed at the meeting.

Minutes show “Cllr Moon offered his help in putting together a response stating the importance of focusing on the relevant planning issues and ongoing problems that are likely to be made worse if the application were to be successful. He emphasised that it is important to be factual and not to adopt a ‘not in my backyard’ approach. He offered to facilitate a day/evening meeting to help provide a professional co-ordinated approach”.

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