Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 17, 2019

An Independent Report From The Aughton Parish Council Meeting

At the recent APC  there were various discussions about the Proposed Local Plan. It was agreed by all that the way in which responses are being “filed on the WLBC website” are incomprehensible and would the Parish Clerk make APC views known to the Borough?
The CPRE/Demographic report is also apparently proving very hard to access. The CPRE lady present agreed and she indicated that the Demographic report was prepared by the same person who had produced the report that recently forced Andy Burnam, Manchester Mayor, to back track on a major spatial plan involving thousands of houses on Green Belt Land.

The West Lancashire Demographic Report has apparently concluded that the WLBC need is for about 4,000 houses and not 16,000. This news was met with general approval but Borough Cllr D Westley who was sitting at the back of the room apparently muttered that it wasn’t necessarily good news for Aughton. Well, the day he brings us anything that is good news for Aughton, perhaps his early retirement so we have elected representatives who live in the parish, we will hang out the bunting!

With regard to adjoining Authorities’ responses a Iocal resident handed out hard copy of the Sefton Council Letter of 17th Dec 2017 which was apparently unknown to the APC. Other matters emerging are that since the Sefton Letter above, a recent e-mail has come to light from Sefton to WLBC stating that they are confident that they do not expect any “unmet “needs till 2035”.

It was pointed out that the “Consultations” with adjoining Authorities undertaken by the Director of Planning at WLBC did not include any contacts with the Authorities to the East of West Lancs, South Ribble, Chorley, and Wigan being notable for their absence. When we get to the EIP this information will have be a further negative effect for the Proposed Plan in respect of the 6,000 housed said to be required to meet unmet needs from adjoining authorities.

An impression might be assumed that these authorities are privately very critical of the WLBC/Harrison Plan and are determined not to get involved. Whilst Local authorities have a duty to consult, there is NO legal requirement for one authority to meet “unmet needs” of another.

Another matter close to the hearts of Aughton’s residents, the traffic issues at Wacky Races Long Lane, was also discussed but apparently we are no nearer to having SPIDs after 4 years of asking and the money being available, including a Borough grant of 50% for a SPID! No will, no way?

The LCC Highways authority has suggested more signage, “Dragons Teeth” , and repeater signs painted on the road. But APC apathy rules, and any traffic calming measures remain a distant possibility.


  1. The reference in this post to the email from Sefton to West Lancs.could be the result of a FOI request by Burscough Parish Council to WLBC. Cllr.Brian Bailey.

    • Thanks, it might well be, and it is also possible other Parishes and their Councillors made similar requests direct to Sefton. No stones are left unturned to find what lies beneath the murky world of Local Planning.

  2. I believe the 2017 Sefton letter was published on your website many weeks ago for all to read, but its content is somewhat superseded by Sefton Council’s comments on the WLBC website stating that Sefton has sufficient land supply till 2035 and “could” have a shortfall from 2040 to 2050 of up to 2000 dwellings in the North Sefton area but have an absence of robust evidence at present to support any request for additional land from West Lancashire. They have also set aside 49 hectares of safeguarded land within their own Local Plan which has the potential of an additional 1000 dwellings if required. Sefton also state that they may have over estimated their own housing supply needs due to perhaps an economic downturn (brexit) and other population migration factors. The 6000+ additional dwellings argument is not sound and is basically null and void. Sefton Council Options comments Response No 109341670 for those who wish to read in full.

    • I believe you are correct, and the details you give are accurate.

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