Posted by: westlancashirerecord | September 6, 2018

Biskerstaffe, Blame Shameless Shelaa

The Champion headline that states “Parish council seeks to allay farmers’ fears over Local Plan review” tells us how a request from West Lancashire Borough Council for landlords to offer sites for development became a nightmare for tenant farmers in Bickerstaffe .

WLBC stated “The Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment, or SHELAA for short, looks at the potential of housing and/or employment sites for development in the future. We prepared a draft SHELAA in early 2017 and consulted on it in March/April 2017. We have taken on board comments made on existing sites, and new sites submitted. These are reflected in the final SHELAA. The SHELAA supersedes the ‘SHLAA’ (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment). We published SHLAAs annually from 2010 to 2016”.

WLBC also stated “Please note that the majority of sites are ‘parked’. This is because they are assessed against current planning policy. If, however, extra land is needed in conjunction with the Local Plan Review, these sites can be revisited and assessed/considered through the site allocations process”.

As Cllr John Hodson has told the Champion “…it should be understood that this is basically a “wish list” for land owners”. A wish to become rich by flogging agricultural land is a trait clearly demonstrated by examples like Parrs Lane.

And a statement from Stanley Estates includes a claim that “There is a national housing crisis in the country and all local authorities are tasked by central government with reviewing their development sites within their existing allocation and addressing any shortfall by looking at potential greenbelt release”.

Landowners have fallen in love with Shelaa in Appley Bridge, Banks, Bickerstaffe, Burscough, Halsall East, Halsall West, Hesketh Bank, Lathom, Ormskirk and Aughton, Parbold, Rufford, Scarisbrick, Skelmersdale, Tarleton, Up Holland, and Wrightington.

A resident of Bickerstaffe blogged “We love living in Bickerstaffe, enjoy walking our German Shepherd over the well-kept paths through the fields, watching the array of changing colours of the countryside, not to mention the outstanding red sun sets in the evenings”. We should all hope that Bickerstaffe landlords never fall for shameless Shelaa, otherwise the German Shepherd will be walking through housing estates instead.

Agriculture has been and remains the main industry in Bickerstaffe. Coal mining was also to be found in Bickerstaffe in the 19th century but the mine closed circa 1936. There is also some minor evidence within Ormskirk Parish Registers of glassmaking in the area with a solitary entry ’10 December 1600 – A stranger slain by one of the glassmen being a Frenchman then working in Bickerstaffe’.

The Church is Holy Trinity  [© Copyright Alexander P Kapp licensed for reuse] and was built in 1843 by the Earl of Derby. Much of the land in Bickerstaffe was owned by the Earl of Derby and many farms were tenanted. Bickerstaffe was also a centre for the Quaker movement in the 17th/18th century and a Quaker Burial ground is still to be found in Graveyard Lane.


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