No Brownfield Sites Left In West Lancashire?

Assuming the February Minutes of the Aughton Parish Council to be correct, there are “no  brownfield sites (none left in West Lancashire)”.

The Chairman welcomed Borough Councillor David Westley to the meeting and invited him to give a brief update on the new Local Plan. Westley explained as much as he could on the matter and confirmed that there was still a Local Plan Cabinet Working Group in existence, cross-party members: 2 Conservative, 6 Labour & 1 Our West Lancashire, to prepare proposals for 2023-2038. He said the Government had changed the methodology for calculating the Local Housing Need figure.

The basic housing requirement was now less than anticipated. A question and answer session then took place with Westley on ‘safeguarded land & existing sites’, the ‘call for sites’ exercise, Permission in Principle applications, brownfield sites (none left in West Lancashire). “The Brownfield Land Register is in two parts: Part 1:  identifies suitable brownfield sites that can deliver five dwellings or more. Inclusion on this list does not necessarily mean that the site would be granted planning permission. Part 2: is a list of sites that have been granted Permission in Principle (PiP). PiP establishes whether a site is suitable in principle for residential development.  There are currently no sites on Part 2 of the West Lancs Brownfield Land Register.  If and when any sites are to be included on part 2 of the Register, we will consult appropriately”.

Finally, Westley said he was unable at this stage to give any assurance there would be ‘safeguarded land sites’ in the new Local Plan. It was likely that the first set of Preferred Options would be out in October 2020″.

Westley left the meeting at this stage. Short and not so sweet, so that leaves us with the likelihood of the developers of Parrs Lane being back in touch with WLBC and its gluttony for more development, more council tax, and more CIL.

(The Updated Housing Land Supply Position, using the current formula, shows the requirement for 2019-2024 = 1,038 dwellings. The anticipated deliverable housing land supply for 2019-2024 in West Lancashire = 2,242 dwellings. Therefore, against a LHN requirement of 1,038 dwellings, the number of years of deliverable housing land supply for West Lancashire Borough on 1.4.19 was 10.79 years).

WLBC statement “One of the main principles behind the planning system is community involvement. We encourage the public, local organisations, businesses, and others with an interest in the area to take part and have a say in different aspects of planning. The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) sets out who we will consult on various aspects of planning, and what methods we will use.

Aughton Residents Group 2012 considers

“The Draft SCI is considered a comprehensive document, no doubt covering all the statutory requirements under the various elements of current planning legislation. The Aughton Residents Group are however concerned that there is a danger that the document does leave the Council open to a repeat of the previous criticism that it was not robust enough in engaging with its community in a timely and informative manner.

“During the development of the current Local Plan 2012 – 2027 many considered the council to be more aligned to the needs and wishes of the big developers than the local communities. This grew largely out of the failure to provide timely and informative updates to the public in the early stages. This issue, and others, reappeared during the more recent attempt to create a thirty year Local Plan.

“If the Borough Council really wants to get the community to help in the planning process and to increase public acceptance of developments then they need to ensure they do not repeat those mistakes.

We suggest……Let the public know at the very earliest opportunity what it is that you are intending to do and why; Do not hide behind the ‘Statutory requirements only say we have to do….’ excuse, it looks lame and lazy; The local press are desperate for stories and you have a great deal of influence with them. So use them.

“Do not let it appear, unjustly or otherwise, that you are consulting/planning with developers, ahead of the public. After the current crisis has finally subsided the public’s trust in many institutions will be fragile”.

1 thought on “No Brownfield Sites Left In West Lancashire?

  1. Adrian Owens

    There are brownfield sites available for development in West Lancashire. Part A of the register lists them. There may be one or two others. I’m not sure the council could state with absolute confidence that the list is fully comprehensive. Part B refers to a planning process which is often not followed and so isn’t especially relevant.


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