Category Archives: ParrsLaneWatch

Watching Wainhomes?

Parrs Lane Aughton watchers will note with some concern that developer Wainhomes (North-West) has won a High Court case against the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government over housebuilding in the area of South Ribble Borough Council.

Wainhomes in December 2018 applied for outline planning permission for up to 100 homes at Chain House Lane, Whitestake. South Ribble refused this and Wainhomes appealed. And following a public inquiry the planning inspector also rejected Wainhomes’ case.

In Wainhomes (North-West) Ltd v Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government [2020] EWHC 2294 Mr Justice Dove noted at the outset of the case that although the appeal before him had a number of grounds, the Secretary of State had already conceded that the inspector’s decision should be quashed on one ground [Ground 5] – that use of the standard method for the distributional consequences which would arise across the Central Lancashire housing market area would render a policy in South Ribble’s local plan out of date.

Wainhomes also argued that the inspector fell into error in concluding there had not been a review of the rate of housing delivery and that her reasoning was unclear over the council’s core strategy.It also contended that the inspector was guilty of a clear misinterpretation of planning policy guidance when she concluded that it covered a situation where an existing plan figure was found significantly above the housing requirement generated using the standard method to identify local housing need.

The borough council supported the decision which was made by the inspector, and contended that on all grounds the claim should be dismissed.

Dove J said “Drawing the threads together it is clear to me that this claim must be allowed, and the decision quashed in relation to the claimant’s contentions in ground 5 [the point conceded by the Secretary of State.”

The judge also said he was satisfied that in ground 1, the Inspector’s reasons for concluding that the MOU and the SHMA process leading up to it did not properly constitute a footnote 37 review were not legally adequate, and that her conclusions were affected by illegality in the form of an error of fact.

Mr Justice Dove said he was satisfied that the conclusion the inspector reached that there had been a significant change pursuant to the PPG arising from the introduction of the standard method, was a planning judgment reasonably open to her based upon a correct interpretation of the PPG (“albeit other conclusions might reasonably be reached by other Inspectors”), and therefore she was entitled to conclude that Core Strategy Policy 4(a) was out of date.

Boris The Builder

Boris Johnson will bulldoze Britain’s bloated planning system to help get the economy moving again. He pledged to bring forward “the most radical reforms of our planning system since the end of the Second World War”.

He said the move, which will see ministers take the axe to swathes of red tape, would pave the way for an “infrastructure revolution” that would create jobs now and improve productivity long-term.

He focused much of his fire on Britain’s sclerotic planning system. He announced a number of immediate changes designed to tackle the crisis in the commercial property sector. These include allowing offices and shops to be converted into housing without planning permission in most cases. Businesses will also be able to ‘repurpose’ property to a new use, such as converting a shop into a cafe, without the need for council red tape.

And developers will be able to demolish vacant and redundant buildings without normal planning permission, provided they are to be rebuilt as homes.

But government sources said yesterday’s changes were by no means the end of our ambitions. At a meeting of government advisers last week, Dominic Cummings, the PM’s chief adviser, described the planning system as appalling, adding “It makes things so hard to build”.

I suppose that depends on who you dine with at a Tory Party fundraiser?

Aughton’s Nightmare Before Christmas?

A couple of days ago WLR wrote about Parrs Lane and the greedy developers.

Now, oh, how my heart bleeds for Tory Jack, Gilmore, that is, as he commits to “…fight alonside [sic] the community to stop inappropriate development in our precious greenbelt”. This time its Altys Lane

last time it was the “waste of time” slur and “lies told door to door”

of Jack’s mentor Wally Westley about Parrs Lane, Aughton. Once seen, never forgotten, retained for posterity.

Your problem, Jack, is the community doesn’t believe local politicians any more. Credit to Labour that fought off these developers in court and won. But it was a mere respite and the developer juggernaut is back. Better to build on soft, spade ready, fine agricultural land than to contend with the costly to prepare concrete and rubble of brownfield sites.

Aughton Residents Group, ARG (2012), is dismayed having discovered that developers are already continuing with their relentless intentions to build on prime farmland at Parrs Lane and Prescot Road. Their target is now 500 dwellings instead of their original plans for 400.

When WLBC abandoned their unrealistic 30 year plan the residents of Aughton and surrounding areas had taken some comfort in the mistaken belief that the threat to this land had at least been put on hold.

However they, the developers, were astute enough to realise that they, having already invested so much time, effort and money, would never give up their chance to make huge profits.

Colin Atkinson, Chairman of ARG (2012), said “When visiting the WLBC planning website over another matter I was surprised and dismayed to see a Scoping Report Reference 2019/1134/SCO which is a conjointly submitted report by Emery Planning on behalf of Redrow Homes Ltd And Wainhomes North West Ltd.

“The report indicates their intentions, having seemingly acquired more land within the Parrs Lane / Prescot Road / Long Lane site boundaries, to make new planning applications for a significantly increased number of dwellings (500 rather than 400).

“Armed with this information I contacted WLBC Planning Department to query why as a resident who is directly affected by these plans, had not been notified or consulted. I was told that WLBC’S policy only requires neighbour notification as and when Planning Applications are received. Whilst this situation is not the fault of the Planning Officers it does mean that the Community are kept in the dark whilst the developers are already progressing their intentions.

“From past experiences in ‘fending off’ the unwelcome and unjustified developers’ plans we are well aware that in respect of these sites they are prepared to go to any expense in their efforts to find any loopholes or pretext to usurp and thwart the elected Council’s planning decisions and the Local Plan.

“ARG (2012) unfortunately now find ourselves in the run up to Christmas preparing for another campaign to defend this beautiful, prime agricultural landscape from becoming yet another profit driven concrete and brick estate. We will be contacting our MP, Ward Councillors and Aughton Parish Council for their continued support”. And good luck with that?

They’re Back For Parrs Lane, Redrow And Wainhomes

Aughton Residents Group (2012) is back on alert with news of Redrow

And Wainhomes

making an application to WLBC for a scoping report on 500 new homes at Parrs Lane, that’s 100 more than their original defeated bid.

As ARG2012 states, this is not unexpected, but sooner than anticipated as the ball is rolling again in their seemingly endless quest to develop the Parrs Lane/Prescot Road site (s).

ARG Chairman Colin Atkinson and other ARG Committee members attended last Monday’s Aughton Parish Council meeting. Surprise surprise, no Aughton Ward Councillors were present.

At Public Question time Mr Atkinson asked the Aughton Parish Councillors, in the absence of any Aughton Ward Councillors, if they had any news or update regarding the WLBC Local Plan. He told them that he had previously been told by a WLBC Planning Officer that the new preferred options paper was expected to be published around Christmas 2019.

The response from APC and others in the Public Area, was that they had no update and it was now anticipated that the WLBC New Local Plan would be funded by the 2020 /2021 budget and so it was unlikely for any action(s) to take place in 2019. Mr Atkinson said he was aware that the proposed 30 year Local Plan was rejected by WLBC and sent back to the drawing board for a more realistic plan to be formulated.

Mr Atkinson checked the WLBC Planning website yesterday and to his surprise he saw that under Planning Reference 2019/1134/SCO there are documents relating to a SCOPING report submitted by Emery Planning conjointly on behalf of Redrow and Wainhomes. It appears that the developers have acquired some more of the Parrs Lane/Prescot Road Land.

You can visit the WLBC Planning website and view the reports/ documents using the reference numbers and the simple search procedure. The Scoping report (which is a pre-planning application procedure) indicates that they will now be planning up to 500 houses in total between the WAINHOMES and REDROW sites, as opposed to the lower figure of a total of 400 dwellings in their previous applications.

In a nutshell, Redrow and Wainhomes now plan to blight this area even more so than their original applications. Mr Atkinson contacted WLBC Planning Dept. today and spoke to Mr M. Loughran (Case Officer) who advised him that there isn’t a neighbour notification at this point in time and only “Consultees” such as Highways, Police, United Utilities etc are notified. As and when planning applications are received then neighbour notification will take place.

So there we are, advance warning, just before Christmas, of what lies ahead. But what DOES lie ahead? No infrastructure, no services, traffic bedlam, no local increase in school or medical needs.

The Police

response is interesting, as they state “Dear Planning Officer. Thank you for providing Lancashire Constabulary with the opportunity to comment on this scoping opinion for up to 500 new build dwellings.

Application ref: 2019/1134/SCO; Proposal: Scoping Opinion – Proposed residential development of up to 500 dwellings. Location: Land To The North-west Of, Parrs Lane, Aughton, Lancashire
Grid Ref: SD 340971 406372

“A development of this size and scale has the potential to create significant demand on Lancashire Constabulary resources with calls for service, therefore in order to keep people safe and feeling safe, it is recommended that the applicant develops these 500 new dwellings to achieve Secured by Design Gold accreditation. This should be a condition of planning approval. I ask Planning Officers to please signpost the applicant to the Lancashire Constabulary Designing Out Crime Officers so that crime prevention strategies can be integrated into the design as early as possible. Details regarding the Secured by Design New Homes 2019 scheme can be found at http://www.securedbydesign.com

Other matters include “Lighting is required at all elevations that contain an external doorset, plus garage illuminations, LED Photoelectric �dusk until dawn fittings to deter intruders as opposed to PIR operated units. The street lighting scheme should be developed to BS 5489:2013 by a qualified lighting engineer.

Deter intruders by incorporating a 1.8m high close boarded fencing arrangement for the perimeter of rear gardens and dividing panels. There are many more features prescribed by police, creating almost impossible crime conditions, which are in “Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended by the Police and Justice Act 2006). Without prejudice to any other obligation imposed on it, it shall be the duty of each authority to which this section applies to exercise its various functions with due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on, and the need to do all that it reasonably can to prevent, crime and disorder in its area (including anti-social and other behaviour adversely affecting the local environment); and (b) the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances in its area crime and disorder in its area.

Crime ridden Aughton will applaud that commitment if it is enforced?