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  6. 'Holes to homes' scheme turned down

'Holes to homes' scheme turned down

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has rejected an appeal by Northern Trust for a major housing scheme on a former golf club site at Preston, Lancashire.

At issue were outline proposals to redevelop the 69 hectare former Ingol Golf Club, some 3.5 kilometres north of Preston city centre, with up to 550 homes, community facilities and landscaping.

The developer had proposed to provide a mix of small and medium-sized family houses at an average density of between 16 to 35 dwellings per hectare.

The Secretary of State recovered the appeal into the borough council’s failure to determine the plans within the prescribed period and accepted the recommendation of the inspector who held an inquiry in June.

The decision letter said he agreed with the inspector that “the overall integrity of the site, its character and appearance would be greatly and unacceptably degraded by the proposed development”.

The SoS acknowledged there were a number of factors in favour of the proposals: the lack of a five-year supply of housing, the scheme’s sustainable location and the proposal to provide a wide mix of dwellings - some affordable - built to level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

However, these were outweighed by the fact the project was in conflict with the local plan, the design principles were insufficiently detailed to ensure a well-designed development and there was a need for a golf course in the area.

Read the decision letter and inspector’s report.

Roger Milne

3 November 2011