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350 houses approved on edge of Blackpool

Images – Layout of the site (credit Emery Planning); Photos of the site (Local Democracy Reporting Service)

Plans to build 350 new houses on the edge of Blackpool have been approved by councillors despite concerns over flooding and that a diverted road could become a ‘rat run’.

Fylde Council’s Planning Committee has agreed an application by Wain Homes to develop two parcels of land off Cropper Road, bounded by Progress Way and School Road which are within Fylde’s planning jurisdiction.

Final approval is subject to the drawing up of conditions and 106 agreements requiring contributions by the developer of more than £2m to provide health services and school places, and will be delegated to council planning chiefs.

Andrew Stell, development manager at Fylde Council, told the meeting part of Cropper Road would be closed off to traffic with only pedestrians and cyclists allowed to use it, and a new link road would be built to divert traffic through the new estate.

He said while surveys had shown there was a higher risk of flooding on the land than originally expected, the water management measures to be taken by Wain Homes would tackle this.

These include the construction of drainage basins capable of capturing excess water, and which will also protect properties on neighbouring land from flooding.

However, objector Trevor Torrence, from Bambers Lane, warned the area would be developed like a ‘dog’s dinner’ unless a masterplan which included other land earmarked for housing in the area was in place.

He said: “Until all the developers are ready to develop there will be no integration of the infrastructure such as roads.”

He also warned the area was subject to flooding, and said “my neighbours have been underwater for the last eight months. The attenuation plans will only push more water onto our properties”.

Councillors questioned the flooding risk and the reasons for diverting the road through the estate.

Coun Jayne Nixon said: “How much of a rat run is that going to become? What restrictions will there be to ensure traffic calming?”

Coun Noreen Griffiths also raised concerns about flooding, and asked: “This is moss land which historically was used for grazing horses. How do we guarantee older properties will be safe from flood risk?”

But Mr Stell said the drainage plans were acceptable to both the Environment Agency and water company United Utilities and would provide protection even in the rarest, worst flooding events.

He added the road would be designed to deter fast driving, including with bends along the route.

The meeting was also told the impact on wildlife would be minimal and there would be an increase in biodiversity due to the large amount of open space proposed on the development.

The scheme includes 174 four-bedroomed houses, 104 three-bedroomed and 72 two-bedroomed, with 105 of the properties being affordable housing which will be dispersed throughout the estate.

There will also be four new bus stops to service a new bus route.

It is also hoped to eventually provide neighbourhood facilities for the housing developments on a parcel of land between the sites, currently occupied by a garden centre.

Wain Homes has already built 255 new homes on other sites off Cropper Road, and is also currently seeking planning permission for 266 affordable homes on open grassland at nearby Old House Lane.

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